I want to commend Council Vice Chair Susan O’Leary for her courageous Open Letter to the Council published in the March 28 edition of the Los Alamos Daily Post. I spent eight years in that weird little universe she’s trying to navigate and I can tell from her letter that it hasn’t changed much. A lot of staff time goes into trying to give the Council the illusion of being in control while making sure they never get too close to the real levers of power. Susan is obviously getting too close.
What happens next is the freeze-out. There will be some councilors who buy the myth that dealing with this in public will somehow destroy the fabric of the county, and some who just don’t get it but they don’t want to be frozen out like the one making all the fuss, so they shy away and hope it will all blow over. I know why she wrote that letter. This is a demonstration in real time of what happens when you don’t just go with the flow.
If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the shenanigans at the County, you have to know something’s wrong. Almost $5 million in recent settlements, including settlements where the county paid both sides(!). The County Attorney seems to be asleep at the switch – why isn’t she doing lessons learned in these cases? The Community Development Department is in disarray, its new director overwhelmed I’m sure. The Utilities Department has allowed our water infrastructure to deteriorate to failure.
Susan’s doing what we hired her to do, she’s on to something, and she does not deserve the treatment she’s getting. She deserves your support, and her fellow councilors should support her as she tries to roll over the rocks and let the sun shine in. In Government as in biology, sunshine kills the bad stuff and makes the good stuff grow. Send Susan O’Leary your kudos.