A major step forward

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By Ralph Damiani

A major step forward

The signing of the Trinity Site Revitalization Project agreement by the school board Thursday is a positive step forward for our community.

In its unanimous vote to affirm a partnership with the county, school board members took a step toward the future.

While we believe that there are still many questions and issues here, this project is what the county has basically banked its future on and we need to move ahead.

Doing nothing is worse than trying something.

School board President Joan Ahlers deserves real accolades here as she put in a lot of time on this and really helped move it forward.

Ahlers, who has been the lead negotiator on behalf of the schools since her election in 2006, worked tirelessly with then Superintendent James Anderson and current  Superintendent Mary McLeod.

All of them deserve praise.

Those folks, along with County Administrator Max Baker and Assistant County Administrator Tony Mortilaro, worked hard to craft a document detailing the principles of a partnership between the schools and the county.

The county council is expected to add its signature to the partnership at its April 7 meeting.

This is good news for Los Alamos and should signal a time for the hoped-for new beginning of our community.

What should we know and when?

There has been some criticism of our story reporting on calls to our office questioning the possible job action to be taken against the Mountain School principal.

Were we correct in running the story?

The issue as we see it is one of openness. Do we as a society have the right to know what our government does before it does it or do we only need to know what it has done.

We would argue that we have a right to be informed before an action is taken by any governmental body that has been put in place by us and for us. To simply say that we only have a right to be informed after an action has been taken is against our democratic principles.

If something is going to be done that impacts our lives that we might disagree with – or even agree with – we think that society has a right to know about it and to have the chance to make their voice heard.

To say that we do not have that right, that all we need to know are results,  not only is undemocratic it prevents us from having the possibility of being given the chance to make our voice heard.

These issues become sticky when people are involved. They have rights and their rights need to be protected. And they are.

But when these people are in positions that affect the lives of many other people, any action dealing with them should never be in the dark of night.

They, we, have a right to open accountability.

When our government can do things in secret, with no worry of input and comment from those it is supposed to serve, then we are really in danger. For then we have all lost our rights.

It is only by the light of day that we can say we live in a democracy. And while you must never forget the individual and their rights, the right of the public to know about, and be involved in, its government is just as important.