Henderson Exits Los Alamos County Council Race

County Councilor

I am writing for two reasons. 

First, to say thank you to my fellow citizens. It has been an honor to serve on the Los Alamos County Council for the last four years, to help make decisions that affect our day-to-day lives and our long-term plans, and to represent Los Alamos around the state and, occasionally, the nation.

Second, to let the community know that I have decided not to run for re-election in November.

There is some wisdom, I think, in a four-year term, and this is a good time in my life, with my family and my work, to take a step back from public service. 

You can never feel, I suspect, that everything you wanted to accomplish in an elected position has been achieved. I do believe, however, that I helped orient the Council in an important direction. I ran for office four years ago on a platform of including the needs of families, especially families with young children, in our decision-making, and on making reasonable progress. 

I was told in no uncertain terms that this was a losing platform in Los Alamos. Instead, I was the top vote getter. Bringing a family-oriented perspective to Council helped ground much of our public decision-making.  With the significant staff turnover anticipated at the Lab in the next few years, proactively creating a town that appeals to younger generations will likely continue to be important for some time.

During my time on Council, there are any number of initiatives I am proud to have been a part of and believe contribute to our quality of life. On the smaller scale, these include leading the charge to save the 4-H program, insisting on larger public restrooms for women at Ashley Pond, and initiating the urban Chicken Ordinance, so that it is now legal to keep chickens in Los Alamos. 

In broader efforts, after fifty years of private land ownership in Los Alamos, we now have basic maintenance requirements in the form of initial Nuisance Codes (so your neighbors can’t leave old appliances, say, in their front yard). Building on the work of prior Councils, we built the first permanent Teen Center, revamped the Youth Activity Center in White Rock, built a new WR Library and Trail, revamped Ashley Pond and are revising the WR Senior Center.

I also worked in a bi-partisan effort to reduce our operating budget by 30 percent over the last four years, even with the new services.

I know I will be replaced on the ballot with a good candidate. Thank you to the many volunteers at the Democratic Party of Los Alamos, and in particular Robyn Schultz. I am confident that we have a deep bench of potential candidates who can help move the community forward.

I greatly appreciated the opportunity to serve. I hope I might find the opportunity to offer public service again in the future. Thank you again for your support.