By Jack and Colleen Hanlon
We are going to vote NO on all four proposed Los Alamos County Charter Amendments for the following reasons:
- The Charter Review Committee (CRC) process was flawed. We believe the County Council (CC) formed the CRC because the CC was uncomfortable about their decision to reject a petition signed by 2,000 citizens. An over-whelming majority of the CRC members supported the CC view to reject the petition, and consequently, the CRC gave little credibility or voice to the petitioners. What a surprise! The CRC was even more repressive then the CC. They proposed Charter changes that make it more difficult for citizens to petition. If the changes pass, it will be pretty much impossible for a citizen group to gather the increased number of signatures in the shortened time period. If you try it you won’t like it. We are voting NO because: a.) we don’t agree with the Charter changes, and b.) we want to protest the way this whole issue was handled by the CC and the CRC.
- We believe there is nothing wrong with the initiative, referendum and recall rules that are currently in the Charter. Petitioning was never a problem for the CC until, when confronted with a petition that they did not like, they worked with the county attorney to find a way to disregard the charter and neither adopt the petition nor put it to a citizen vote within 60 days.
- Bringing Charter wording into compliance with State Law is a proper roll for a CRC; however, mixing (log-rolling) Charter organizational and wording changes with substantive issues concerning recall, referendum and initiative questions seems like an attempt to mislead voters rather then give them a clear separated choice on important proposed changes.