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County begins new session tonight

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By Arin McKenna

The Los Alamos County Council begins a new session this evening with three new faces. Steve Girrens, Kristin Henderson and Pete Sheehey all take their seats for the first time at 7 p.m. in council chambers. 

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One of the most significant items on the agenda is the election of a new chair and vice chair. 

The remainder of the agenda is comprised largely of housekeeping items. 

Council will adopt rules for public notification of all meetings by the council, boards and commissions, the county hospital and the county indigent board. 

The Office of Management and Budget submits the comprehensive annual financial report with auditor’s opinions. 

A public hearing on the transfer of ownership of liquor license No. 474 from the Canyon Bar and Grill to the Giant Convenience Center in White Rock is also on the agenda.

Councilor Frances Berting has also submitted a request that the new municipal building be named in memory of the late Jeannette O. Wallace, long-time New Mexico representative for House District 43. County staff will recommend that council direct the county administrator to establish an impartial administrative committee to solicit feedback and hold a public hearing on the request, and then submit a recommendation to council. 

Council’s work session in White Rock on Jan. 15 at this point also promises to be light one. Representation on various council committees will be the topic of discussion.

However, looking ahead, the Jan. 29 meeting promises to be one of the most significant of the year, when staff presents the mid-year budget review. 

With the loss of approximately $6 million in revenue from Los Alamos National Laboratory for FY2012, plus anticipated lower revenues for FY2013 and the foreseeable future, staff will present council with options for reducing both short-term and long-term expenditures.

 Council will consider changes to major expenditures such as Capital Improvement Projects as well as options for lower operating expenses at that meeting.