County Council Takes Action on CRC Recommendations

Los Alamos County Councilors listen to members of the Charter Review Committee during Tuesday’s mCouncil meeting held in Council Chambers. Councilors from left include Fran Berting, Mike Wismer, Vice Chair Ron Sevage, Chair Sharon Stover, Vincent Chiravalle, David Izraelevitz and Geoff Rodgers. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

During its meeting in Council Chambers Tuesday, the Los Alamos County Council took action on the following items researched and reported on by members of the Charter Review Committee.

Sheriff and Police:

Councilor Berting moved, seconded by Councilor Wismer,that Council direct the County Attorney to draft an ordinance for introduction that would provide for a proposed County charter change to eliminate the elected office of Sheriff, and transfer those duties to the Police Department, and that such ordinance adopt the recommendation and language of the Charter Review Committee as described in the attached report. The motion failed 5 – 2; Councilors Rodgers, Selvage, Chiravalle, Stover and Izraelevitz opposed.

Councilor Rodgers moved, seconded by Councilor Izraelevitz,that Council affirm the current language in the County charter relative to Section 304.3 Sheriff and Police. The motion passed 5 – 2; Councilors Chiravalle and Wismer opposed.

Council Manager vs. Mayor:

Councilor Wismer moved, seconded by Councilor Izraelevitz,that Council accept the recommendation of the Charter Review Committee and remain with the current Council-Manager system form of government. The motion passed 6 – 1; Councilor Chiravalle opposed.

Council Chair:

Councilor Wismer moved, seconded by Councilor Berting,that Council direct the County Attorney to draft ordinance(s) for introduction that would provide for a proposed County charter change to applicable Charter provision related to the Council Chair, in substantial conformity with the recommendation and language of the Charter Review Committee as described in the attached report, specifically the CRC proposed relay of Section 202.1. The motion passed 5 – 2; Councilor Chiravalle and Rodgers opposed.

County Administrator:

Councilor Wismer moved, seconded by Councilor Berting,that Council direct the County Attorney to draft ordinance(s) for introduction that would provide for a proposed County charter change to applicable Charter provisions related to the Duties and Powers of the County Administrator in substantial conformity with the recommendation and language of the Charter Review Committee as described in the attached report, specifically the CRC proposed relay of Section 302. The motion passed 5 – 2; Councilor Chiravalle and Rodgers opposed.

Administration:

Councilor Selvage moved, seconded by Councilor Izraelevitz,that Council direct the County Attorney to draft ordinance(s) for introduction that would provide for a proposed County charter change to applicable Charter provisions related to Section 303.2 in substantial conformity with the recommendation and language of the Charter Review Committee as described in the attached report, except as amended in the following respects: the words “suspend or remove” are added after the word “appoint” in the second sentence. The motion passed 7 – 0.

        Councilor Stover called for a recess at 8 p.m. The meeting reconvened at 8:16 p.m.

Boards and Commissions:

Councilor Selvage moved, seconded by Councilor Wismer,that Council direct the County Attorney to draft ordinance(s) for introduction that would provide for a proposed County charter change to applicable Charter provisions related to Section 305.1 and that such ordinance adopt the recommendation and language of the Charter Review Committee as described in the attached report. The motion passed 6 – 1; Councilor Rodgers opposed.

Partisan Boards & Commissions, Assessor, Districts vs. At-large, Partisan Elections and Election Schedule:

Councilor Wismer moved, seconded by Councilor Chiravalle,that Council direct the County Attorney to draft ordinance(s) for introduction that would provide for a proposed County charter change to applicable Charter provisions related to Section 905.2 Composition of Committees and Boards, and that the language be changed to eliminate any affiliation with political party.

After Council discussion regarding the citation to Section 905.2, the motion was amended. There were no objections.

For the record, the amended motion reads:

That Council direct the County Attorney to draft ordinance(s) for introduction that would provide for a proposed County charter change to applicable Charter provisions related to Section 305.3 Composition of Committees and Boards, and that the language be changed to eliminate any affiliation with political party.

The motion amended failed 5 – 2; Councilor Rodgers, Selvage, Berting, Stover and Izraelevitz opposed.

Councilor Selvage moved, seconded by Councilor Izraelevitz,that Council reaffirm the language of Section 305.3 for Partisan Boards and Commissions. The motion passed 5 – 2; Councilor Chiravalle and Wismer opposed.

Councilor Selvage moved, seconded by Councilor Chiravalle,that Council reaffirm the language in the Charter for Section 304.2 for the County Assessor. The motion passed 7 – 0.

Councilor Selvage moved, seconded by Councilor Izraelevitz,that Council reaffirm the language in the existing Charter for Districting vs. At-large Elections. The motion passed 7 – 0.

Councilor Selvage moved, seconded by Councilor Izraelevitz,that Council reaffirm the language in the existing Charter regarding Partisan Elections. The motion passed 7 – 0.

Councilor Selvage moved, seconded by Councilor Izraelevitz,that Council reaffirm existing language in the County Charter regarding the Election Schedule. The motion passed 7 – 0.

Alternate Voting Methods:

Councilor Wismer moved, seconded by Councilor Berting,that Council take no further action on the recommendation from the CRC to further study Alternative Voting Methods. The motion passed 7 – 0.

Consolidation of Courts:

Councilor Wismer moved, seconded by Councilor Berting, that Council thank the CRC for their recommendation regarding the Consolidation of the Courts, but take no further action. The motion passed 7 – 0.

Ethics:

After Council discussion, it was suggested that Council direct the County Administrator to place, on a future agenda, an item to consider the appointment of a committee to further study the question of Ethics.

Clerk:

Councilor Stover recused herself from the discussion of this item, as she is a candidate for the position of Clerk.

Councilor Chiravalle moved, seconded by Councilor Rodgers,that Council affirm the current language in the County Charter with regard to the Office of the County Clerk. The motion passed 4 – 2; Councilor Berting and Wismer opposed.

After Council discussion, it was suggested that Council direct the County Administrator to place, on a future work session agenda, the issue of the need for a full-time Clerk.

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