As a retired Los Alamos County utilities manager, 10-year member of the Board of Public Utilities (Board) and a utilities customer, I urge voters to vote against Ballot Question No. 2 — utilities. I am concerned about the potential negative effects the proposed re-write of Article V of the Los Alamos County Charter will have on Utilities customers.
Unless a voter digs deeply into the background he/she may not realize that Article V, which was ratified in 1968 and has effectively guided utilities operations since, will be deleted and replaced with a new version that is substantially changed.
What occurs in the proposed version is the council gains more control over utilities. Among other things, the council:
1) will have the ability to remove one or more board members without reason
2) will have the right to impose a dispute resolution process weighted in the council’s favor, and
3) could potentially use utilities’ funds for other county operations.