West’s departure leaves many issues

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By Ralph Damiani

The hearts of everyone in Los Alamos goes out to Jim West, as do all our prayers and wishes for his speedy recovery.

While we may have disagreed with him from time to time, his concern for this community, his hard and dedicated work and his efforts on all our behaves is unquestioned.

His humor, his grace and his experience will be missed. He will be a tough act to follow.

It is in that vein that we urge the council to proceed with all due caution. There is precedent for this in the past and the input and care taken then should be followed now.

And this is something that should be left to the new council.

This council has only a couple of meetings left and only a few days in its term. The incoming council has years ahead of it and this decision should be left up to those good people.

The council should start the process, they should begin to gather input, ideas, candidates and the like. But the decision should be left up to those it will impact the most, the next council.

West created a situation where he showed what you can do with the right person in place. His leadership on regional transportation matters was second to none.

How we fill that void is vital to our future development.

His knowledge of the state and region added a lot to the dialogue of the council.

How the council fills that void will be important to how we proceed with our neighbors and the state.

West sought to build bridges, both within and without Los Alamos. The council must seek to do the same.

The councilors should seek out opinions from the community on what to do, on who to tap.

They should ask leaders, the parties and important groups. They must remember that their decision here is not being done in a vacuum, that we all have a vested interest in how this proceeds.

We have had our differences with the council but we have never questioned their integrity, their dedication, their concern for the community or their desire to do the right thing.

We are sure that desire and effort will carry over to this matter and what is best for all the residents of Los Alamos will be utmost on their minds.