- Special Sections
- Public Notices
My eyes glaze over as I study the Election Resolution in the Los Alamos Monitor of 9/18. There are 5 Whereas’s, then 4 Questions, which I am to vote on, then 4 Exhibits. The first Whereas covers 598 to 604, VII, 700, 703, 704, IX, and 907, presumably relating to the Initiative Process, and then it sends me to Exhibit A.
I am put off, but soldier on to Exhibit A, where I find that Legislation by Initiative shall not extend to Budget, Bonds, Appropriations, Taxes, Capital Projects, Solid Waste, Compensation, Zoning, or Otherwise by Law. Otherwise? What does it cover? Is anything allowed? Are we being disenfranchised? Is it logrolling? I will need a lawyer to discover what Otherwise refers to, and a judge to decide on the rest.
I soldier on. The requirements for a legal petition go on for most of a column. The tone is threatening, even citing prosecution. When I get to 704, I find that any adult resident can commence Referendum or Recall Proceedings, but why is Initiative absent? Why are they changing the requirements so that any adult resident can commence the proceedings, not just a registered voter? Apparently some could commence but not sign. Is there an Eskimo resident, or some such, who has not registered but might want to initiate a Recall or Referendum? And why not allowed to initiate an Initiative? Skipping ahead, I find that the Procedure for Initiative is in Exhibit C, as is Referendum. Why is Initiative in C, which is about Recall? And why is the Procedure for Referendum defined in both Exhibit A and C?
The required number of petitioners is increased in some Exhibits, the allowed time is shortened in others, most subjects, possibly all, are disallowed, and the requirements for the various kinds of petitions are all different. Strangely, it is claimed that this is not logrolling, but it is certainly confusing. Suddenly, the light dawns: this is a shell game. The Charter Review was ostensibly taken to clarify and update the Charter, but there was a hidden agenda, disarming petitioners.
Nothing in this Resolution actually benefits citizens, while it seriously diminishes, possibly cancels, a Constitutional Right. A four-fold vote AGAINST this mishmash is the sensible choice.
P.S.: I formally inquired as to what attorneys had concluded this Resolution is not logrolling, but was told that that information is attorney-client privileged!