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Overview Of Tuesday Night Council Meeting

on November 14, 2019 - 7:26am
From left, candidates for the state senate seat formerly held by Sen.Carlos Cisneros Gabriel Montoya, Kristina Ortez, Daniel Barrone and Roberto "Bobby" Gonzales explain to Los Alamos County Council why they are best suited for the job. Ultimately, council voted to recommend Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham appoint Ortez to fill Cisneros' unexpired term. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com
 
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post

Los Alamos County Council held its regular meeting Tuesday night and below is a summary of actions taken.

Los Alamos County Council Nominates Kristina Ortez To Fill Sen. Carlos Cisneros’ Unexpired Term

Taos Land Trust Executive Director Kristina Ortez received Los Alamos County Council’s nomination to fill State Carlos Cisneros’ unexpired term. She received six votes while Dist. 42 Rep. Roberto Gonzales received one vote from Council Vice Chair Pete Sheehey.
 
Other candidates were Taos Mayor Dan Barrone and Pojoaque Pueblo Director of Special Projects Gabriel Montoya.
 
With Cisneros’ recent death, the Los Alamos County Council needed to provide Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham with a recommendation of a qualified individual to fill the unexpired term. To make the decision, council interviewed the candidates. The questions’ topics ranged from gross receipt taxes and the Department of Energy’s funding of Los Alamos Public Schools to Los Alamos National Laboratory’s role in Northern New Mexico.
 
Several members of the public spoke in favor of Ortez.
 
Katherine Bruell said, “I was really impressed Kristina Ortiz took the time to come to Los Alamos … and I think that really speaks to her leadership style and how she would represent us in the New Mexico state legislature.”
 
Jody Benson agreed, saying, “I think District 6 needs Kristina Ortiz.”
 
Council Nominates CDAB Incumbents To Continue Service On The Board, Two Openings Will Be Re-Advertise

Los Alamos County Council approved to nominate Citizen Advisory Board incumbents Andrea Pistone and Denise Derkacs. The other two openings on the board will be re-advertised.
 
Council Approves $100,000 To Renovate BMX Track

It’s been a bumpy road to renovate the BMX track on North Mesa but with Los Alamos County Council approving $100,000 to renovate the track during the meeting, the renovation project should finally reach completion.
 
The motion to approve the money was passed 6-1. Councilor David Izraelevitz opposed the motion. He explained while he did not disapprove of the project, he was not in favor of the way it was getting approved.

Izraelevitz said rather than asking for money now; he preferred the project be brought up during the County budget hearings.

This way, he said, it appears someone knew the right person to talk to and bypassed the normal procedure to get funding for the project.
 
The money will allow for a USA BMX sanctioned track as well as starting gate and starting box. There also are some utilities involved in the project. According to agenda documents, the site would need electrical power for the gate structure and water hydrants to aid in maintenance of the track.
 
Work to renovate the track, which is south of the horse stables and indoor riding area, began last year and was initiated by citizens. However, County staff halted the work due to safety and liability concerns. As a result, County staff and citizens investigated solutions to fully renovate the track.
 
Councilor Antonio Maggiore said he was in favor of completing the track. He pointed out that despite the track being closed to the public, kids were still sneaking in to use it.
 
“Let’s get a safe track in place of what is currently an unsafe track,” Maggiore said.  
 
Council Directs Staff To Look Into Budget Options For IMBA Designation Of Bronze Ride Center

To assist in the effort to earn a bronze rating as an International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Ride Center, Los Alamos County Council approved 5-2 to direct staff to provide budget options for items in the association’s criteria and present these budget options as part of the annual budget hearings.
 
Councilors Antonio Maggiore and James Robinson voted against the motion.
 
According to agenda documents, the tasks the County would need to do to achieve a gold, silver or bronze designation from IMBA include:

Improved and Increased Signage and Wayfinding: Includes a substantial amount of signage to be contracted out or purchase of a sign plotter.

  •  Improved trailhead kiosks and restrooms (concrete pit toilets).
  •  Installation of a skills park. This would focus primarily on beginner and intermediate skills; wood plank “skinnies” and logs close to the ground and some smaller wood plank “drops”.
  •  Installation of a pump track.

Council Approves Community Services Department Director Brian Brogan’s Termination

Council voted 6-1 to terminate Community Services Director Brian Brogan’s employment with the County. County Manager Harry Burgess said he could not go into specifics due to this being a personnel matter, but he said per the County Charter, he is required to get council’s approval for the termination of a department director.

Councilor Antonio Maggiore voted against Brogan’s termination.

He said he did not feel Council was given enough information.


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