Muni Building petition going to citizen vote

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Council split on legality of wording

By Kirsten Laskey

The questions swirling around the legality of a petition concerning the municipal building weighed heavily on Los Alamos County Councilors during the regular council meeting Tuesday night at the White Rock Fire Station.
While the council came down on both sides of the issue, they ultimately voted to certify the petition in a 4-3 vote.
As a result the council, again in a 4-3 vote, agreed to call a referendum on the now certified petition question. The referendum will be carried out in a special all-mail ballot election on Dec. 20. The cost of a special election will be $35,000 minimum, according to county officials.
The question that will come before voters will be whether to allow an exact replica of the former municipal building to be reconstructed at the original location near Ashley Pond. At present, Los Alamos County is planning a new municipal building at the location of the former Los Alamos Apartments on Central Avenue.
Richard Hannemann, who spearheaded the petition drive, presented it to council during its Oct. 5 meeting but it was declared to be insufficient because it lacked the nine signatures to make the required 1,668 signatures for a petition to be certified.
Although Hannemann obtained the remaining signatures, County Attorney Randy Autio said he believed there was still an issue with the petition language.

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