Letter To The Editor: Los Alamos Needs Christine Chandler’s Brains, Talent, Commitment Representing Us

By Janie O’Rourke
Los Alamos

I am writing in support of Christine Chandler for Seat 43 in the New Mexico House of Representatives.

Christine has all the important attributes to make her an outstanding representative for Los Alamos. She is hard working, smart as a tack, perseveres when the going gets tough, and she is completely capable of holding her own against the prevailing wind. But in addition, Christine also is capable of listening to all sides, and open to new ideas and new solutions that make sense.

Christine brings years of important experience in both the professional, as well as public realm. As a practicing lawyer, she is very aware of how laws work – or sometimes don’t – and of their consequences, both intended and unintended. She also has served her community for many years with extended terms on the Los Alamos County Council and Planning and Zoning Commission. These experiences give her a depth of understanding of the multifaceted issues impacting the various constituents of Los Alamos County, as well as the surrounding entities of the Pueblos and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

I first met Christine during the late 1990s, when she was on the County Council, and I was involved in what started as a grassroots effort to create a countywide trail system. I remember going before the County Council with such a proposal and having Christine ask some pretty tough questions, as she carefully considered the facts of the proposal and the issues and opportunities it might create.

Christine took the time to walk many of the proposed trails and it wasn’t long before she became a stalwart supporter of the county trail system concept. Soon after this, Christine and I both found ourselves on the Planning & Zoning Commission. The Commission was beginning work on a required update of the County Comprehensive Plan. The plan covered all aspects of land use and the well-supported trail plan, was being incorporated into a broader Open Space Plan. One key component was the Downtown Plan with its development code. While the County planners were creating a framework for the plan, a key component of this particular comprehensive plan effort was the inclusion of real community input. This included many months of town hall meetings, visioning events and one-on-one exchanges.

Although the open public process may have seemed grueling and even uncomfortable at times, Christine threw her heart and soul into it, because she believes that inclusion is how successful government works. Christine seems to shine in just such an environment, where solutions are sought through an inclusive public process, to improve the lives in her community.

Los Alamos needs a special sort of person who has this ability and tireless commitment to succeed, and Christine Chandler is that person.

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