Former councilor wants a second stint

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Jim Hall wants to assist in improving the community

By Carol A. Clark

After sitting out two years, Jim Hall cites three reasons pushing him to run for another term on the Los Alamos County Council.

First, he wants to work with other councilors, citizens and county staff to continue to improve the local community.  

“We live in a competitive world and must continue to attract outstanding people to Los Alamos.  The strength of all our institutions — hospital, schools and churches as well as the laboratory — depends on our community being a great place to live as well as a great place to work,” Hall said. “Our competition is national including Livermore, Oak Ridge and a host of university communities across the country. We have significant strengths with our magnificent location, many excellent services including libraries, public transportation, recreation facilities and the senior center and safe streets, good jobs and good schools.”

It’s important to ensure these amenities are maintained and further improved, Hall said, adding that it’s also important to continue to improve the community by aggressively encouraging business development, finding ways to encourage the maintenance and upgrading of aging housing stock and the effective use of land resources.

Secondly, Hall will continue to work on helping Los Alamos adapt to its changed circumstances, he said.

“There have been three huge changes in the last six years. The project our leaders worked on for 20 years, acquiring land from DOE, has borne fruit as evidenced by A-19 in White Rock and the Trinity Site on the hill,” Hall said. “Land scarcity strangled Los Alamos development for years and we now have some options. A second major change has been the recognition that much of our infrastructure is at the end of its useful life and must be replaced. Finally, we have new financial resources and must continue to improve our management of these resources.”  

The third reason motivating Hall to seek another term on council is that he wants to work to increase citizen participation in local government. Some practices work well, he said, like boards and commissions, which he describes as critical to programs such as recreation, art and transportation.

Hall expressed being continually grateful to board and commission members whom he said contribute so unselfishly to local institutions.

“However, given the changes affecting the community and the new challenges it faces, we must improve the transparency of local government, increase communications outreach and provide more opportunity for citizens to directly influence the future direction of Los Alamos,” he said.

Hall mostly grew up in Hobbs and Abiquiu. He went to college in Minnesota and graduate school in the Boston area where he worked, as well as at Los Alamos National Laboratory, for most of his career.

Hall served on the Los Alamos School Board for eight years and other civic and business organizations including the Los Alamos Medical Center Board of Trustees, the Northern New Mexico Girl Scout Board, the San Ildefonso Enterprise Corporation Board and the Ghost Ranch Governing Board, among others.

After working 12 years as a division leader at LANL, Hall took early retirement in 1993. He consulted for several years, served as a cabinet secretary in Gov. Gary Johnson’s administration and worked as a senior manager at a small business in Albuquerque.  

Hall returned to Los Alamos to work at Los Alamos County for a short while before running for council in 2004.  

He completed his term in December 2008 and said he chose not to run again in order to attend to personal business including his grandchildren.  

Hall married Janet Rudberg 44 years ago and calls that the best decision of his life. The Halls have four children.