Letter To The Editor: CB Fox And The Reel Deal Buildings – What Do We Need To Know?

By RICHARD SKOLNIK
Los Alamos

As Mr. Dave Fox stated in his March 6 letter to the editor (link), I also very much appreciate the work of the County Council and the many exceptional assets of Los Alamos. However, unless Mr. Fox has data the rest of us have not seen, I don’t know on what basis he is so approving of the County proposal to purchase the CB Fox and Reel Deal buildings.

Before making an individual purchase, we would generally consider:

  • What benefits will I get from the purchase, over what period of time?
  • How much will it cost me, over what period of time?
  • How do the benefits compare to the costs?
  • How will I pay for this, if I decide to buy it?
  • Am I certain that I am getting this item at least cost?
  • Is there something else I could do with the money that would provide more benefits at equal or less cost?

In the simplest terms, public authorities need the same information to make rational decisions about capital investments. In addition, public authorities have an obligation to present such information to their constituents in a manner that will allow for serious feedback before decisions are made about such investments.

I understand that the County staff are preparing data now on the costs and benefits of the proposed purchases. It might turn out that the benefits of the proposed purchases greatly outweigh their costs. It might turn out that such purchases are the best use of the required funds at this time. It might also turn out that it makes very good sense for the County to purchase these buildings rather than leave their future to “market forces”, which face important issues in a small, “one company”, county like ours.

However, until the County Council and we can carefully examine data like that noted above, no one has any basis for giving a “go” or “no go” decision on the proposed County purchases.

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