By DENISE DERKACS
Los Alamos County Council
My name is Denise Derkacs. I’m running for County Council because I want to help Los Alamos County plan for growth and embrace the future while preserving the past and the amenities that make Los Alamos a wonderful place to live.
As a 38-year resident of Los Alamos County and a retiree from Los Alamos National Laboratory after 20 years of employment, I have both the desire and the time to study and address the challenges currently facing the County. I hope to apply my personal experience raising a family in the County and my professional experience as a senior-level chief of staff at the Laboratory to serving on the County Council.
This is my first run for elected public office, but I have been a volunteer member of the County’s Community Development Advisory Board since its formation in 2018. Since then, I also have been attending County Council meetings learning about how County government functions and about the issues currently facing the County. My decision-making always will be based on accumulating facts and analyzing options, and importantly, on input from the people of Los Alamos.
I recognize three overarching issues facing the County in the immediate future: the need for low- and middle-income housing, downtown revitalization to enable small business development and sustainability, and community services to support growth and sustain our quality of life.
The 2019 County housing study identified the need for more than 1600 additional low- and middle-income housing units, for rent and/or for ownership. I support County efforts to explore all housing options and all possible building sites to meet community needs, and importantly, to solicit public input on all options under consideration.
I believe that downtown revitalization, in Los Alamos and in White Rock, is essential for a thriving community. County development codes should be revisited and County processes should be streamlined to facilitate small business development and sustainability to support diverse occupations and services necessary for a well-rounded community and a growing population.
To further support growth, the County should prepare to upgrade its services, particularly infrastructure, utilities, transportation, recreational facilities, parks, trails, open spaces, and to the extent allowed, our state-funded public schools – all the things that contribute to the quality of life that we value and want to preserve as the County grows.
These are the overarching issues that I have identified. But, I want to learn from you, the people I hope to represent on the County Council, about your specific issues and ideas. To share your thoughts, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about me and my campaign, please visit my website at denise4countycouncil.com and my Facebook page at facebook.com/denise4countycouncil.
I look forward to serving on the County Council and to representing you, the people of Los Alamos. I humbly ask for your vote in the upcoming election.