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I don’t think many people in Los Alamos object to the idea of providing a skate park for young people, though one might wonder whether the $500,000 plus it will probably end up costing, once the hidden costs are added, is really the best use of our county funds right now. But there is indeed a serious issue with the proposed location in front of Mesa Public Library.
Simply put, the county council has never provided the community as a whole with an adequate opportunity to provide input on the location.
The current proposed location was voted on by the council in June 2007 with little or no public review beforehand, and since then the council has apparently been deaf to citizen concerns. In fact, the first time nearby residents received official notice of the proposed location was April 3 of this year.
The Fuller Lodge Advisory Committee objects to the proposed location in front of the library. The Mesa Library Advisory Committee objects to the proposed location. The residents of 2500 Central Avenue, Bathtub Row and the Oppenheimer Apartments all object to the proposed location. The Los Alamos Retired Citizens Organization objects to the proposed location.
Citizens have presented a petition with 340 signatures to the council objecting to the location. Citizens have testified to the council in opposition to the proposed location.
It’s not as if there were no other possible locations. Several reasonable alternatives have been proposed. Unless the council is determined to simply railroad this project through over all objections, it behooves them to reopen the issue of the location and take seriously the concerns of those who will be affected.
I appreciate that there are pressures to get this park built soon, but that shouldn’t justify short-circuiting the normal process of consultation with the citizens the council is supposed to represent.