Letter to the Editor: Charter Article V Is Broken … It’s Time To Fix It … Vote YES On Charter Amendment #2

By MIKE WHEELER
Los Alamos
 
Let’s see if I’ve got this right:
  • We don’t trust the County Council that we elected; we do trust the Utility Board appointed by the council. 
  • We can recall elected officials but not the utility board. The Council can appoint but not remove Utility Board members.
  • Council meetings are televised. Utility Board meetings are not. 
Everyone has a boss. Private utility companies are held accountable by state regulatory agencies and boards of directors. Our public utility needs to be accountable to the council. The fundamental issue that charter amendment #2 addresses is accountability of the Utility Board. Once appointed, board members determine utility department policy with very little interaction with council other than the annual budget approval process. 
 
Charter amendment #2 defines a process for resolving differences between the board and council and gives the council authority to remove a board member with a super majority vote of 6 to 1. The autonomy of the Utility Department will be preserved to the extent allowed by state statute. Charter amendment #2 will ensure council and public input to our publicly owned utility.
 
I believe the current Charter Article V is broken. It is time to fix it. Please vote for charter amendment #2.
 
 
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