Public hearing set

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‘Flint Field’ Naming Committee to meet May 24

By Special to the Monitor

The Los Alamos County Council considered a request in a citizen petition on May 11 to rename North Mesa Soccer Field “Flint Field” in honor of Jim Flint, former County Administrator and boys varsity soccer team Head Coach. The request was filed under the County Code, Chapter 2 “Administration,” Article V “Special Recognitions,” Sections 2-421 and 2-422.

Flint passed away in September 2009. Under the code, the council has the option to appoint a committee to hold a public hearing about the request to name a facility — in this case, North Mesa Soccer Field — after a deceased individual. The hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. May 24 in Council Chambers.

Resident Mary Pat Kraemer submitted the request and petition to the county clerk on April 26. She submitted a petition on behalf of 50 people, at least five of whom are registered voters of Los Alamos County. The request is additionally supported by a petition of more than 25 Los Alamos registered voters as recommended by the ordinance, having been confirmed by the office of the county clerk.

According to the materials supplied by the petitioners to the council on May 11:

"Many knew Mr. Flint -- or as he preferred, ‘Jim’ as the Los Alamos County administrator, a position he held from July 1989 through June 1995. Jim was drawn to New Mexico for many reasons, one being the fact that his grandfather was born in,

lived and loved Las Vegas, New Mexico in particular and the state in general. Jim soon came to share those feelings.

Others knew him as Coach Flint, Los Alamos Boys Varsity Soccer Coach. Regardless of the title, mentoring, molding and developing were bywords for Jim and he practiced them both in his support of actions in the best interest of the community and for young people.

In spite of his demanding work schedule, Jim made time to coach the Los Alamos Boys Varsity Soccer Team for four seasons, 1992-1995, speaks to his avid support for youth and reflects his support for facilities that would benefit them. Incidentally, he eschewed any salary, rather having monies returned to the soccer program. 

Jim used the coaching position as an opportunity to offer those young men — and later young women on other teams challenges that would help develop life skills such as leadership, honesty, integrity, humility and teamwork; skills with applications far beyond their high school sports careers. In the words of one of his former Los Alamos players taken from a blog soon after Jim’s death, '...he has influenced many young men and women along the way.  I hope we take the lessons about hard work, sacrifice and team and use them consciously in our lives as we move forward.  I think it would be the most fitting tribute to our friend and coach, Jim Flint.'

Residing initially on North Mesa with his family led Jim to appreciate the need for high-quality recreational facilities for the area.  His vision for the community, and his belief in the youth of Los Alamos led him to professionally support the development of the North Mesa Regional Park -- including, in particular, the North Mesa Soccer Field.

In February of 1991, his vision was independently affirmed by the Parks and Recreation Board as reflected by their recommendation that a soccer field on North Mesa be its highest priority for that year’s project related to the regional park, even being willing to give up other items to secure its construction.  Lacking an adequate source for water to support the project, Council felt compelled to reject the request.

It wasn’t until August of 1992 that the bid for the Bayo Effluent Line Project, which could provide water to the area, was awarded and September of 1994 before the line was completed.  The actual construction of the field was, disappointingly for Jim, not completed until 1995/1996.

Although having left Los Alamos, Jim and the Flint family maintained a very strong connection to Los Alamos, reflected in their many contacts with and visits to friends and county co-workers, until health interfered.  Had two of his three children not located to the northwest, Jim and his wife Karen had planned to retire in Los Alamos.

At his request, however, Jim’s final resting place will be Los Alamos and his family is returning to Los Alamos in late June for that ceremony as well as the dedication of a bench and tree in his honor.  A group of his friends and former staff have worked with the County Parks Division to secure the tree and bench and select their location at the North Mesa Soccer Field.

Council’s action to begin the process to consider renaming North Mesa Soccer Field ‘Flint Field’ in Jim Flint’s honor would seem fitting.”

The Council appointed five individuals to the “Flint Field” Naming Committee on May 11, in accordance with the requirements of the County Code: Julie Habiger, County Public Information Officer (for the County Administrator); Fred Roach (for the Planning and Zoning Commission); Dawn Brown, citizen; Steve Boerigter, citizen; and Ina Acomb, business owner.

To review the names of the 75 citizens who signed the petition, residents can visit www.losalamosnm.us and link to the Council Meetings page, where they can download the May 11, 2010 agenda document.

Residents who cannot attend the meeting on May 24, but would like to submit written comments either “for or against” the name change, can e-mail comments to the County at julie.habiger@lacnm.us. They can also drop them off or mail them in time to be received by the May 24 meeting to: Los Alamos County Administrator’s Office, 133 Central Park Square, Los Alamos, N.M.  87544. All comments received before the May 24 deadline will be read into the record by the Public Information Officer during the public hearing.

The Committee will consider all comments and then make a recommendation at the close of the public hearing. Their agenda will be posted here on the County’s webpage on Thursday. The next step will be the Committee’s recommendation, which will be submitted to the County Administrator. He will then submit it to the Council. This item is scheduled for the Council to consider at their June 8 Council meeting (7 p.m. in Council Chambers, Los Alamos).