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This is an important election year in Los Alamos. There are many important projects ahead of us and who we elect to the county council will help shape the future of our county for many years to come.
There are five candidates seeking three seats on the council in open voting: Manual Baca, Vincent Chiravalle, Ken Milder, Sharon Stover and Mike Wismer are all seeking the seats now held by Jim Hall (who chose not to run), Fran Berting (term limited) and the incumbent Milder, seeking a second term.
In mixed voting – reflective of feelings in the community – only one candidate won unanimous approval of the Monitor’s election board: Sharon Stover.
Stover has long been active in the community. She has played key roles in working with our youth, in working with the state and in working for our county. She has a long history of service here and is worthy of our vote.
The next highest vote getter was Mike Wismer. Wismer had a bit of a rough time his last go-round on council but he has proven that he is interested in serving the community.
His involvement in civic groups, as well as serving on the UNM-LA advisory board, has proven that.
Next on our tally board is Chiravalle. He has spoken well of financial restraint and seems clearly interested in listening. A newcomer to the political scene, he offers some new insights and ideas. He would bring a new voice to the council, something that would not hurt anyone.
Next in our voting is Ken Milder. We think that Milder is the most misunderstood candidate. His stand on issues such as the skate park and general development are only understood in the context of trying to give residents what they have long asked for – business and development. But some are unhappy with the price of these projects and raise questions of being ignored. You cannot get without giving and Milder has been caught in this loop.
His record of service is without question and it is almost too bad that he has been caught in these issues and is the only incumbent people can use as a protest vote.
Last on the list is Manuel Baca. He has tried to be relevant to issues and voters and has really made serious efforts to be part of the process. But we felt that his inexperience and apparent lack of understanding of some issues make him a risky choice. We need people to be involved and he should get nothing but praise for his involvement. We just feel that now is not his time.
Our recommendations to voters are: Sharon Stover, Mike Wismer and Vincent Chiravalle for council.
In the Public Regulation Commission race, the choice seems very clear. Our editorial board was unanimous in selecting Rick Lass for the seat.
His opponent has had many problems – too many to go into. Jerome Block Jr. is most definitely not qualified or suited to be on the commission.
We strongly endorse Rick Lass, who brings fresh ideas, fresh energy and a fresh approach to the job. He has shown a commitment to the environment and to people and would serve us all well.