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Outgoing councilors were honored during the Dec. 16 County Council meeting held at the Community Building.
Council Vice Chairman Robert Gibson gave the presentation, thanking Council Chair Jim Hall and Councilors Frances Berting and Ken Milder for their service on the council.
“This is often called a thankless job, but it’s not really true,” Gibson said.
“We do get thanked often. The general public does appreciate the work that’s done because they recognize that someone has to do it. Ken Milder, Frances Berting and Jim Hall, it’s been an honor to have served with all of you the last many years,” Gibson commented.
Gibson presented the outgoing councilors with engraved Nambè Wear plaques and woven blankets from Ortega Weaving. When they received their gifts, the outgoing councilors took the opportunity to say a few words.
“I truly enjoy public service,” Milder said. “There’s nothing like it. Sometimes people disagree but in general what’s unique about this community is, as we’re looking at other communities around the country, our community for the most part, has been corruption free. I do and will continue to feel a commitment to the community,” he continued.
Gibson told Milder that the community does recognize his commitment.
“It goes back to three decades altogether now,” he said.
Berting said that there have been a phenomenal number of things that have happened in the eight years that she’s been on council.
“When I look back, it’s absolutely amazing,” she said. “I started running for council right after the (Cerro Grande) fire. Council didn’t have too much to do with the fantastic rebuilding that has gone on up there.”
She also said the council’s hiring of (County Administrator) Max Baker as a big accomplisment and something to be proud of.
“This has been a most fantastic eight years. I have enjoyed it. There have been ups and downs and I’m going to miss it.”
When he presented Hall with his gifts, Gibson joked, saying he was a glutton for punishment because Hall served many years on the school board as well as the County Council.
This time around, Hall served four years.
“We appreciate your service over the four years,” Gibson said. “You’ve certainly done some wonderful work for us this past year. You’ve exhibited leadership and your shoes will be hard to fill. We appreciate everything you’ve done,” he continued.
Hall said that it’s been an honor and pleasure to serve during the last four years.
“I’ve been very fortunate to get on a Council. I’ve developed tremendous respect for the work the councilors have put in. I’d like to thank all of you. There’s no way I could have had such a great time and felt like I got so much done without working with these wonderful people,” he said.
Hall also thanked the citizens for their input and for telling councilors what they think.
“Tell us often. Tell us again and again,” he said. He also commented about how the community is a great one to serve. “The citizens are involved and they care and that’s what makes a working democracy,” he said.
Councilor Nona Bowman said that she has served on Council with Berting the longest. In reference to Milder, Hall and Berting, Bowman said, “I feel that these people really do love Los Alamos. They are willing to give their time and lots of time, unselfishly. They think about the issues and they have not been vindictive. We may not always agree, but we go to the next issue and that’s it. It’s been a pleasure serving with all three. I’m going to miss them,” she continued.
Councilor Michael Wheeler shared his thoughts and feelings about working with the three outgoing councilors, as well.
“It’s been an honor to serve with you three. I wish you well and wish you luck and hope that the rest of your lives will be successful, as your terms on council have been,” he said.