Mr. Phelps think on the future

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By Richard Hannemann

Dear Editor,


First, I’d like to congratulate Ralph Phelps on his appointment to council. He’ll do the job to the best of his ability with honor and integrity.


 Personally, I’m not all that dissappointed that I wasn’t appointed. But from a policy perspective, I am a bit surprised and a bit dismayed the Debbie Gill was not selected, for she has a solid understanding of the need to broaden the economic base of Los Alamos.


 And we really need to do this. The formula of reliance on a single large company, in this case the lab, with smaller off-shoots of a single industry, in this case science, plus some additional retail, is a formula which is dicey at best. If the company gets in trouble, the town, any town, is in deep trouble.  


For most small towns with this economic formula, it is market forces, or other externals, that create the difficulty. For Los Alamos, the lynch-pin is the reliance on the Federal Government and 430 people for whom Los Alamos is not a part of their constituency.  That the lab has been semi-privatized helps in this regard, but it also makes the lab susceptable to market forces which are just as unpredictable.


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