What motivates County Council

-A A +A


I would like to make the following comments regarding possible actions to be considered by our County Council.

The retail stores in Los Alamos now provide a significant amount of the basic needs and desires of the community. For whatever else is desired, we go elsewhere. The council seems to be bent on providing more retail space. Is this necessary? What kind of businesses will be willing to take the risk? What have we learned from the fact that the town has lost two shoe stores, two sporting goods stores, two drug stores and several others in the recent past due to lack of demand? Many existing spaces are empty and available right now. Do we want more?

Because of all the new retail stores that the county is proposing (Trinity Site, DP Road, etc.), one has to wonder: Is the council motivated by need, greed, or something else? What specific kinds of retail does the council believe we need that would survive? 

The $1,000 question is: Is there a reasonable possibility that there will be sufficient local demand to ensure the success of more retail stores and businesses? 

From the above remarks, one might conclude that I am not in favor of progress. To the contrary, I am in favor of progress but only if it is reasonably assured to be lasting, provide a real service to the community, possibly improve existing businesses and be financially feasible to both the county and business. I am not in favor of quick or unfounded decisions regarding the future of Los Alamos. 

Concerning the redoing of Trinity Drive. I would like the council to include a full lane-width raised center median from the airport to Oppenheimer Drive (and further, if possible). A part of Trinity Drive next to McDonald’s, etc., is already wide enough and stripped for such a median. 

Such medians, already in place on parts of Canyon Road and Diamond Drive, have proven to be very effective, safer, and attractive. On Trinity Drive, such a median would provide:

• Much needed turning lanes at all appropriate intersections.

• Increased safety by separating east- and westbound traffic.

• Provide a safe stopping place for pedestrians who otherwise would have to wait for all lanes to be clear simultaneously. 

•  The median, planted with trees, shrubs and an occasional boulder, would be very attractive and would also block on-coming head lights at night.

•  In winter, the median would provide a place to put snow from a light to medium snowfall, which later would provide water to the plants. The trees and boulders, if placed appropriately, would also provide a guide for snowplows. 

Another very desirable place for a raised center median would be on Diamond Drive from the Trinity Drive intersection to North Road. The same benefits mentioned above would also apply here. This would make a very attractive and safer area, especially near the high school, which we all would be proud of — not to mention the positive impact it would have on visitors and prospective newcomers.

The County Council recently awarded $50,000 to a company for finding a “one sentence” brand that describes Los Alamos! Do we really need a brand? Do we really want one? What good will it do? 

I am very happy with the way Los Alamos is now (i.e., without a brand)! Such frivolous spending could have easily been used for something more productive. 

This is mind-boggling, and again, one has to wonder: What motivates our council to spend our money this way? There is little doubt, in my mind, that there are far more important ways to use our money. One way, for sure, is to save it.

Bill Bernard 

Los Alamos