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As part of its goals this year, the newly elected board of directors of the Los Alamos Republican Party had two speakers headline its monthly meeting Thursday.
UNM-LA Advisory Board Chair Marie Chiravalle and Republican candidate Brian Moore of Clayton who is running for lieutenant governor were the guest speakers.
Moore and his wife Linda mingled with the crowd gathered at the Hilltop House Hotel. The couple met in Nederland, Colo. She worked for Johnson Sausage Company and was conducting an in-store brat fry at a large grocery where he worked.
Moore brings experience to his candidacy, he said, because he recently retired from serving eight years in the New Mexico House of Representatives.
“I worked closely with your Rep. Jeannette Wallace on financial issues,” Moore said.
He spoke of the need for a strong candidate to help the GOP ticket win in November, adding that he believes any one of the GOP candidates for governor would be better than Democrat Lt. Gov. Diane Denish currently considered the frontrunner.
On Oct. 5, the UNM-LA Advisory Board voted to proceed with a 2 mil levy request. Advisory board members are going out into the community to explain the importance of this mil levy to the college.
Chiravalle and Campus Resources Director Lisa Clough conducted a PowerPoint presentation, which explains the challenges facing the college and why they need the community to support the mil levy election early next year.
“This is not a bond election,” Chiravalle said. “It’s a mil levy.”
The college must remain competitive with new programs that meet the needs of the community, she said. The state provides no funding for new programs and Chiravalle also made it clear the UNM main campus cannot provide operational funding of any kind to the branches.
State funding is based on enrollment, which had seen a decline for several years until recently. While enrollment has increased during the last five consecutive semesters at UNM-LA, the college won’t benefit financially from that increase for two more years, Clough said.
Chiravalle asked the participants at Thursday’s meeting to support the 2010 mil levy election.
Dr. Ann Wadstrom spoke of the importance of education to the community.
Wallace agreed saying, “I do think communities as a whole tend to support the important things in their community more so than things outside of their community that raise taxes…”
A mil levy is the number of dollars a taxpayer must pay for every $1,000 of assessed value. A mil is $1 of tax for every $1,000. Each mil equals $767,000 in Los Alamos County. The proposal must be approved by the UNM Board of Regents and will be presented to them in November.
The local GOP board is comprised of County Chair Ron Dolin, First Vice Chair JoAnn Johnson, Second Vice Chair Geoff Rodgers, Secretary Veronica Rodriguez and Treasurer Norma Tech.
The next Republican Party meeting is set for 7:30 p.m., Nov. 19 in the third floor meeting room of the Hilltop House Hotel.
Scheduled speakers include the manager of Alan Weh’s gubernatorial campaign, J.R. Damron who also is running for lieutenant governor and Los Alamos Transportation Board member Kyle Kilroy.