.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Letters

  • Partisan attack misdirected

    The letter by a prominent local Democrat, exemplifies several facets of today’s political climate that turns so many people off.
    The letter asserts that “Republicans” were campaigning illegally near the high school late last week and had done so previously. It also asserts citations were issued. The letter then blasts Republicans several times.
    At least, the letter writer recognized it likely “the Republican Party knew nothing about this illegal act.” Of course, the Republican Party was unaware of these unfortunate incidents. In fact, no citations were issued and the organizer was a registered Democrat.
    The event itself, a few signs placed where they should not have been, is trivial. The use of that excuse to launch misguided blanket partisan attacks distracts from the issues and candidates that we should be focusing upon. Los Alamos has a proud tradition of civil public discourse. Let’s stick to it.

    Robert Gibson
    Chair, Republican Party of Los Alamos
     

  • Behavior unbecoming

    On Oct. 28, a political savvy teacher passed the high school at 4:30 p.m. and saw some Republicans waving candidate signs on the sidewalk by the high school property. But, in addition, there were numerous large and small candidate signs stuck into the ground, which blocked visual access to Diamond Drive from Canyon Road. She was concerned and called me.
    This was the third time she had seen this action on high school property with the Republicans. Los Alamos County has strict ordinances that candidates must follow with signage. In fact, they sign an agreement before they are allowed to have any signs displayed. Although it is permissible to stand on the public sidewalk and wave signs, political signs are never allowed in the ground on school property, and that includes UNM-LA. As a teacher, she felt very strongly about this continual flagrant violation of the rules.
    I drove over with a friend to see what was actually occurring. Indeed it was just as she described. We parked our car across the street and took a picture to document the violation. I tried to nicely inform the demonstrators that it was against the county code to put signs on the school’s property.

  • Voters shouldn't fear experimenting

    I’m a theorist, so I have much more respect for experimental results than for theoretical arguments.
    Our county charter has worked reasonably well but includes inconsistencies with state law and limits citizen control of the utilities department by isolating it from the county council.
    I have been to charter amendment committee meetings and know and respect
    those who served. They have made careful and sensible efforts to improve the charter.
    We should do the experiment and see whether or not improvements result. It’s not as if these changes are irreversible in our strong local democracy.
    If conservative Kansas can try significant changes, surely Los Alamos County can try relatively small ones.
    Many people whom I respect and admire argue that the charter amendments will drastically alter the positive features of the current charter. I find this fearfulness and the associated scandalous characterization of our current and potential leaders to be unbecoming and see no reason for the associated predictions to be accurate.
    True, we are a suburb of Washington, D.C., but we don’t have to behave like people there do.
    I’m voting for the charter amendments and I hope you do, too.

    Terry Goldman
    Los Alamos

  • New amendments violate previous one

    Our county council is asking us to approve two amendments to the county charter, one of which will give the council more influence over the Board of Public Utilities.
    How can we trust them not to abuse this power when they are flagrantly disregarding the charter amendments approved just two years ago?
    In the last general election, we, the voters, approved an amendment to the Los Alamos County Charter affecting the amendment process. Amendments “that are not dependent on each other” and where “there is no direct, necessary or logical connection between the operation of each” would be “submitted separately to the voters.”
    This year we have two questions on our ballot that each has multiple amendments. Each part is capable of independent operation. This is clearly a violation of the letter and the spirit of the previous amendment.
    It would have been easy enough for council to conform to the new rules and submit multiple questions to voters. After all, we managed 11 questions four years ago.
    The voters two years ago clearly indicated a preference for separated questions. How can we trust the Council on large matters when they betray us on small ones? Please vote “no” on both charter amendments.
    Robert Pelak
    Los Alamos

  • Letters have misleading facts about charter

    I don’t understand why letter writers who oppose the Article V question feel the need to obscure or otherwise make inaccurate or misleading statements about the proposed revisions (Question 2). The opposition’s op-ed in Oct. 23 Los Alamos Monitor is a good example.
    First, it is true that the Utilities Charter Review Committee proposal will make it difficult to remove a board member, because that is something that should only be carried out under unusual circumstances. Hence the requirement of a 6-1 vote by council. That does not make it “cumbersome,” nor is it an attempt to have it “both ways.” It only ensures that such an action will not be taken frivolously.
    Second, the fact that the proposed revision contains 67 percent more words, only reflects the fact that the current charter consists of several large, complex paragraphs, each of which incorporates different important issues. The increase in words is primarily due to the use of an easier to follow outline format and expanding on ambiguous language to make the intent clearer, reducing the likelihood of conflicts between the board and council due to differences in interpretation.
    Third, and most importantly, is this issue of transfer of funds from DPU to the county.

  • Stop attacks on Garcia Richard's support

    As the former program manager of the First Born Program of Los Alamos County, I feel compelled to respond to negative ads attacking Stephanie Garcia Richard for her support of expanding these programs. Recent ads depicting government monitors and mandatory home visits are pure distortion and demonstrate a frightening ignorance of the purpose of early childhood home visits.
    Across our state, home visitation is supported by Republicans and Democrats alike because it works. The science is clear: investment during early childhood enhances the lives of our children through the developmental years and into adulthood. This year Governor Susana Martinez signed the state budget that awarded a $27 million increase in early childhood funding and included more funding for home visiting.
    Raising children is indeed a personal responsibility. The First Born Program is, therefore, a voluntary program that offers new families free weekly visits from a trained professional who offers support, encouragement, connection to community resources and a wealth of evidence-based information.

  • Get facts straight about charter question 2

    Today, I received a mass-mailing campaign letter at my work email address at the Department of Public Utilities. As a project manager at the DPU, I could not help but read the letter and was aghast at the misleading manner in which the information was presented.
    As a county employee, it is highly frowned upon to get involved with political matters, but this one has to do with the Charter Amendment No. 2, so much information is being presented about how the Utilities Board and the DPU operate and make decisions. Getting to the point, the email contained a letter to the editor that simply misrepresents the facts and the way that the county council and utilities board interact and worse, how the utility board and the DPU operate.
    I would encourage interested voters to look at the DPU’s website for a more clear picture of the facts and the transparency of the DPU and the utilities board:
    losalamosnm.us/UTILITIES/Pages/default.aspx.

    Clay Moseley
    Los Alamos 

  • County's utility board should be held accountable

    Let’s see if I’ve got this right: we don’t trust the county council that we elected; we do trust the utility board appointed by the council.
    We can recall elected officials but not the utility board. The council can appoint but not remove utility board members.
    Council meetings are televised. Utility Board meetings are not.
    Everyone has a boss. Private utility companies are held accountable by state regulatory agencies and boards of directors. Our public utility needs to be accountable to the council.
    The fundamental issue that charter amendment 2 addresses is accountability of the utility board. Once appointed, board members determine utility department policy with very little interaction with council other than the annual budget approval process.
    Charter amendment 2 defines a process for resolving differences between the board and council and gives the council authority to remove a board member with a super majority vote of 6 to 1. The autonomy of the Utility Department will be preserved to the extent allowed by state statute. Charter amendment No. 2 will ensure council and public input to our publicly owned utility.
    I believe the current Charter Article V is broken. It is time to fix it. Please vote for charter amendment No. 2.
    Mike Wheeler
    Los Alamos
     

  • Vote 'yes' on Amendment 2

    On behalf of Northern New Mexico College and the Board of Regents, I urge voters in the upcoming election to support Amendment 2 to grant Northern a voting student regent. Northern is the only four-year college in New Mexico without a voting student regent, a role that I believe is essential in representing the student perspective in administrative decision making.
    This position also provides students with an important leadership opportunity that benefits them later in life.
    I thank you for voting in support of expanding opportunities for New Mexico students and assisting us in our mission of ensuring access to higher education in our state.

    Nancy “Rusty” Barceló,
    President, Northern New Mexico College
     

  • Amendment 5 doesn't help

    Nearly every elected official or candidate tells us that they are going to create jobs and strengthen the economy of New Mexico and the United States.
    In reality, their actions seldom support their rhetoric. The proposed Amendment 5 to the New Mexico constitution in this year’s general election is a prime example.
    Amendment 5 would change the rules that regulate the investments of the New Mexico Land Grant Permanent Fund. Apparently, the amendment supports good intentions: to reduce risk to the fund and to produce a more reliable income stream to educate our children without raising our taxes.
    There is one major inconsistency: the amendment would remove the 15 percent upper limit on the book value of investments in “international funds”, i.e., funds that are based in all countries, except the U.S.
    Does it make sense to educate our children for jobs in the U.S. when the state of New Mexico is investing in and creating jobs in other countries — and not the U.S.?
    Apparently, Governor Martinez, Ray Powell, and the legislature didn’t “think the issue through,” or they don’t really believe the U.S. has a future.
    Vote “no” on Amendment 5.
    Joe D’Anna
    Los Alamos