Letter to the Editor: Response To ‘Poorly Thought Out’

By EDWARD BIRNBAUM
CRC Member
Los Alamos

A letter concerning the proposed amendments to Article V of the County Charter was recently published from a retired Los Alamos utilities department (DPU) manager now residing in Rio Rancho. 

It may be that his absence from the community has contributed to his lack of knowledge about the Charter review process and the substance of the proposed changes, but whatever the reason, I write to correct several important errors contained in his letter.

First, contrary to the writer’s suggestion, the two committees that reviewed Article V (Utilities) of the Charter, did reach out to the utilities board (BPU) and former managers for input.  The committees had several meetings with the BPU as well as with two DPU managers, one former manager and the then active manager of the department. BPU members and DPU managers also presented their views to Council when the Charter amendments were being considered by that body. The five-person utilities Charter review committee of which I was a member, also received valued input from David Powell, the then Chair of the BPU, who was also a member of our committee.

Second, the writer is also incorrect when he stated that the proposed amendments would allow Council to remove a member by a majority plus one (5-2) vote. This statement is factually wrong. The correct language specifies a supermajority vote of at least 6-1 held in a public meeting, a very high threshold for removal of a Board member.

It is unfortunate that some have chosen misinformation and exaggeration to oppose the proposed amendments. Factual information is available on the County website. This information flyer will also be delivered to all Los Alamos households in the near future. I encourage you to take the time to learn about these important Charter amendments. I think that you will agree they are both reasonable and necessary.

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