Chandler: Sustaining Our Character

By CHRIS CHANDLER
County Council Candidate
Democrat

Over the course of my campaign for county council, I have worked hard to talk to as many residents as possible. As of today, I personally have knocked on over 1,600 doors, walked in every neighborhood, spoken to hundreds of residents. 

The people with whom I spoke spanned a wide range of demographics – long term residents, people relatively new to town, home owners and renters; parents, grandparents and singles; young and older folks, some from other cultures and countries. We are fortunate to live in such a vibrant, multi-cultural community.

As I walked the neighborhoods, I asked people what they like about the town and what they would change. I heard a common theme: we should leverage what makes Los Alamos the special, desirable place that it is. Many people move here and many choose to retire here for what we are, not someone else’s vision of what we should be. Certainly, we need to draw people here and even grow a little – but not by becoming a different town. We should understand and capitalize on what we as current residents love about our community. The things that brought us here, keep us here.

Let’s recognize what qualities make Los Alamos a great place to live. The natural environment and outdoor activities, the cultural ambience of Northern New Mexico, small-town friendliness and familiarity, great schools, animal lovers, and most of all, a multi-talented, well-educated population, with broad interests and engaged in cultural, scientific, and political issues at all levels from local to international. Rather than changing things to satisfy the ephemeral needs of potential residents who may not even exist, we can revel in our uniqueness and in doing so we will continue to prosper.

Certainly we could benefit from a few more amenities – I often hear people yearn for more restaurants and retail, particularly for families with children. But what I am suggesting is that by focusing on our own needs and interests, we will make Los Alamos an even better place to live. This simple formula will make us more attractive to people who are drawn here to work or play. This will set the stage for new housing and retail. The private sector will be incentivized to develop some of the land that is already available or renovate or redevelop existing resources.

I thank all of you who had the time to visit with me over the course of the last few months. Many of you welcomed me into your homes, offered me a beverage, and showed me your lovely gardens and homes. You reinforced in me the belief that we have a shared vision for the community. If elected I will work to keep and enhance that vision.

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