A call for collaborative governing

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Debbie Gill seeks a well-performing community

By Carol A. Clark

Council candidate Debbie Gill describes the local community as facing challenges on multiple levels.

“Those challenges need to be met with our capacity to gather information, analyze, work together, plan, make decisions and manage effectively. I am running for council because I want to become more responsible for the decision making process that makes our community a better place to live, work and play,” she said. “A community performs well when its government and business sectors, as well as its non-profit organizations are strong and working cooperatively.”

Gill, 61, explained that when there is a clear vision and effective communication, goals can be accomplished. Any success she’s witnessed in any community comes from people working together, she said.

Gill’s been gathering information about Los Alamos County and the local community since she and husband, John Gill, moved to town in 2004. She worked for the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation/Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce from 2005 to 2008. Gill helped develop and implement Discovery Dialogue, a program she describes as a high quality civic discourse plan.  

Through Discovery Dialogue, Gill helped manage public meetings concerned with the West Jemez Road and the Trinity Site project.  

“The work with the chamber afforded me immersion into Los Alamos County. I also worked with the Lodgers Tax Advisory Board,” she said. “I have a firm grasp on key issues facing the present and future of this community.”

Gill served on the Los Alamos Historical Society Board for three years and said she is “acutely aware” that Los Alamos County offers “stunning opportunities” for cultural and heritage business development.

She served on the Municipal Building Site

Selection Committee and now serves on the Charter Review Committee. Gill also was recently appointed to the Los Alamos Planning and Zoning Commission and volunteers as president of the Community Health Council.

“I am qualified for the job of county council. I do realize the position demands constant learning, dedication and patience in order to work effectively,” she said. “It’s a humbling position really. Listening to citizens, county staff and processing information takes time and energy.”

Gill runs a “very small” consulting business, which contracts for non-profit administrative services. She works as a subcontractor from her home office. Even with the small size of her business, Gill said she realizes small business challenges. She ran a small business in Miamisburg, Ohio, where she lived before moving to Los Alamos.

“I understand the 24/7 obligation a business demands. I know what a small business brings to a community,” she said. “I appreciate the energy and commitment involved in a small business owner’s dedication. We need to work to support small business as a council.”

Gill contracts part-time as coordinator of the Los Alamos Juvenile Justice Advisory Board.

“My professional experience includes being a founder and executive director of a nonprofit. I know personally the challenges a small non-profit faces in order to survive,” she said.

She describes her past experience as affording her the opportunity to work effectively with federal, state, county and municipal government representatives, adding that one of the most important accomplishments of her career was helping to facilitate effective communication between Miamisburg community members and the Department of Energy from 1992-2004.

Much of her activity focused on the economic and environmental impact and potential legacy of a DOE laboratory in that town, she said. Through her work, community resources were coordinated to benefit that community and Gill said she hopes to continue this type of work in Los Alamos County.

Gill appreciates the county parks and trails, she said, and spends at least an hour outside each day with her 18-month-old border collie, Povi.  

“We are fortunate to live in an absolutely beautiful part of the world. This place deserves people working really hard for its continued success,” she said.

Gill married 35 years ago. The Gill’s son Nat lives in Maryland with his wife and daughter, Ella. Their daughter Meredith lives and is employed north of Santa Fe.   

Gill is a Leadership Los Alamos graduate, helped put together a ground water protection plan in Miamisburg and also participated in a well water project in Kenya. She holds a master’s degree in Education from Columbia University.

Editor’s note: The primary election is June 1 and the general election takes place Nov. 2. To be introduced as a candidate in the Los Alamos Monitor, e-mail lanews@monitor.com or call 490-0938.