I was pleased to see Council back away from the marketing tagline “Living Exponentially”. If a phrase has little or no meaning to the community it is supposed to define, one can hardly expect it to mean much to those outside the community, which is of course key to any marketing campaign. Unfortunately, we now face the difficult task of creating a new tagline, which is a better fit.
I believe we need to focus on the two features that most clearly define Los Alamos. The first of these, the physical beauty and availability of the surrounding environment was clearly articulated in the letter by Reid Priedhorsky, and is well-defined in Craig Martin’s Open Space Management Plan.
The second key feature is less obvious. Aside from the economic impact LANL has on our community, LANL operations require a highly educated workforce, which also happens to be one of the most important characteristics of a university town. As a consequence, Los Alamos is gifted with an active citizenry with a wide variety of interests, ranging from theoretical physics to gardening, resulting in a plethora of formal community, cultural and recreational organizations, including an historical society, a symphony, a ham radio club, a ski club, etc., as well as many informal groups of citizens sharing a common interest, such as bridge and astronomy.
Published lists of the best places in which to retire are dominated by small towns that are associated with well-known colleges or universities, or which are located in areas of great physical beauty. Los Alamos meets both these criteria, and we should be capitalizing on this combination of positive attributes to attract new workers, businesses, tourists and retirees. An added bonus is the important historical background, recognized by the just announced Congressional approval of the Manhattan Project Historical National Park. Any tagline developed should try to incorporate these features that are so important to making Los Alamos an attractive place to live and work.
An obvious approach to this problem would be for Council to create a new committee to establish guidelines and solicit suggestions from community organizations and the public at large, leading to a small number of recommendations for Council consideration. One suggestion – “A Place to Fulfill Your Vision”.
It’s hard to imagine that the citizens of Los Alamos cannot solve this problem.