The letter from George Chandler of Sept. 6 has prompted requests for further information regarding Charter Question 2 on the November ballot to the group of us organized in opposition. We have prepared several letters to share for informational purposes, and will participate in the Forum on this issue Oct. 7.
For now, we will note that there are a number of erroneous statements in the letter, and that each of the errors will be addressed in upcoming letters.
One point, however, must be addressed immediately: we do not believe Council is “peopled by greedy, unprincipled politicians.” It is undisputable that the new Article V would allow something that is currently not allowed in Los Alamos—unilateral control by Council over utilities governance and revenues. It would not be unprincipled to exercise that control if it were granted; that’s what the Charter change would mean.
It is also undisputable that in those communities with the model proposed in the new Article V, city councils around the state and the country have exercised their control to serve special interests and make non-utilities use of utilities funds. This is hardly a “shibboleth,” or outmoded idea; it is historical and current practice that this community has been protected from for 46 years. We know this from the organizations that set industry standards. We know this from talking with utilities managers and local officials in other communities. We know this from the distant candidates for the utilities manager position who visited Los Alamos for an interview five months ago.