UNM-LA grant warrented

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By The Staff

Dear Editor,

I was dismayed at the Monitor’s editorial in opposition to the county council’s decision to provide UNM-LA with a $150,000 grant: $100,000 for classroom upgrades and $50,000 for operational support.

The county provides significant funding to many organizations and projects, which can be described as “quality of life,” among them, all recreation programs including the Aquatic Center, purchase of sculptures for Ashley Pond and elsewhere and new light posts along Central Avenue (to name a few).

Given the precedents, why the Monitor would single out such modest support for UNM-LA is a surprise.

The Monitor editorial argues that UNM (statewide) budget is larger than Los Alamos County’s budget. That may be. But the fact is that all budgets today are trying to find ways to do more with less. In such an environment, I am glad that the county council sees fit to recognize UNM-LA as a benefit to this community and back that up with some modest support.

I personally would much rather add to this community’s “quality of life’ programs than to the Diamond Drive expansion. But we know that we’d all spend county funds differently.

UNM-LA not only supplements hard-to-find meeting space in our town, but benefits students of all ages and backgrounds. A community such as ours should do much more to promote education at all levels, not only pick at a relatively small supplement for higher education.

Over the years I have taken classes at UNM-LA and am repeatedly impressed by the quality of instruction and the students in class. I certainly join the group of citizens who support judicious spending of county funds, but I suggest that such a relatively modest funding level for such an important asset is not the place to start.

I am grateful that we have members of this community who are willing to step forward and serve on county council to make these and other difficult choices weekly. My hat is off to all of them! My congratulations go to the County Council for making a wise decision to support UNM-LA. I hope this support continues.

Suzanne Johnston

Los Alamos