Letter To The Editor: Petition And Rhetoric Misses Mark

By JOEL M. WILLIAMS
Los Alamos

It absolutely amazes me about what can be presented at a County Council meeting to defeat something. A case in point: the petition and rhetoric of a group at the Dec.  20, 2016, County Council meeting who spoke about the location of additional tennis courts in the area next to the current Los Alamos High School tennis courts (i.e., ‘Mesa Meadow’).

The action by this group of people demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the status of the tennis issue and the location of the new courts that the consultants were presenting to council to be included in the “Rec Bonding”.

I was involved with the entire process of discussing what and where tennis courts could/should be placed. I was also involved with previous efforts to get four tennis courts placed either at Urban or “Mesa Meadow” (that space west of the current high school tennis courts). In the very FIRST meeting with the ‘Rec Bonding” consultant, I pointed out that if they thought they would hear an outcry from the North Road inhabitants about the Urban location, then the outcry from those against an expansion of the high school courts at “Mesa Meadow” would be much greater. As a major pusher for a grouping of eight courts, I recognized that “Mesa Meadow” was NOT to be considered again and stated so.

At that point, the effort was to identify other solutions for the location of additional tennis courts, of which these got the most attention in the early stages and indeed were the ones that the consultant firm held public hearings on:

          1) alternate schemes for four courts at Urban;

          2) scheme for six more courts at North Mesa; and

          3) plan to put eight courts at Overlook Park.

A solution for location was much of the consultant’s effort. Then, after the county and school higher-ups began discussing possible interactions that would lead to the utilization of the Pueblo Complex, a new site was proposed: the one at the JFK Memorial that is known as “Mesa Field” (the piece of school property between UNM-LA and Diamond Drive!). It was this location that was finally proposed for the additional tennis courts to be considered on the “Rec Bond”. What the petitioners argued against at the Dec. 20, 2016, Council meeting had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the proposed site.

There are NO residences bordering the “JFK-Mesa Field” location. The petitioners clearly demonstrated that they knew nothing about what was to be considered by the Council. Indeed, the final images for the placement of the tennis courts on the consultant’s website were NOT in “Mesa Meadow”. The only thing this group demonstrated was a lack of understanding of what was being considered at this meeting and were simply blowing off steam about something that was completely irrelevant to the issue in the Council meeting! Interestingly, they received a lot of Council time and now press coverage in doing so.

The “Mesa Meadow” group’s contributions were irrelevant to the issue under consideration by Council, but their actions did allow them to tarnish, in Los Alamos County Council Chambers, the great efforts (by the county/schools, the consultants, and me) that had gone into trying to find an amenable solution that minimized resident impact; these petitioners among others! But, of course, these petitioners got a chance to heap “nay saying galore” in front of the Council and the viewing public about how BAD tennis players are as neighbors and how undeserving our tennis community is for any considerations from Council because of it.

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