Los Alamos County Councilor Morrie Pongratz is the newly appointed Council representative to the RCLC Board. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com
Los Alamos County Council Vice Chair Chris Chandler said Tuesday she is sorry to be leaving her position as County representative to the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities Board.
Councilor Morrie Pongratz was recently appointed by Council Chair David Izraelevitz and will represent the Council for the remainder of 2018. Izraelevitz said Chandler has been instrumental in the Council’s discussions with bidders for the new Los Alamos National Laboratory management and operating contract.
“She will be key to supporting a smooth transition, especially given her legal background at LANL and experience with the prior transition. Given this, and juggling her other responsibilities, we have decided that her RCLC role was a bridge too far,” Izraelevitz said.
Chandler, who has served on the Coalition board since January 2017, told the Los Alamos Daily Post that she believes the Coalition is an important binding force.
“It brings the communities and citizens of Northern New Mexico together to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern relating to the Laboratory such as championing prompt cleanup of legacy waste,” she said.
Chandler said she will especially miss the comradery of her wonderful Coalition colleagues but looks forward to continuing those friendships.
“I am pleased and committed to working with the new contractor, Triad, and the Federal government to ensure a smooth transition that recognizes the important role a vibrant Los Alamos County plays in the long term, sustainable success of such an important scientific and national security asset,” she said.
Coalition Chair and Santa Fe County Commissioner Henry Roybal told the Los Alamos Daily Post Wednesday that he is sad to see Chandler leave the board. He said he enjoyed working with her and appreciated her hard work and dedication on behalf of the Coalition communities of Northern New Mexico.
“It may be a loss to the Coalition but I wish Councilor Chandler the best in her future endeavors,” Roybal said.
Pongratz attended an RCLC executive board meeting last week on the County’s behalf to interview applicants for the RCLC executive director position. Those applications are slated for discussion at an RCLC board meeting scheduled for 12:30 p.m., July 20 in Espanola. The location of the meeting has not yet been determined and an agenda is expected to be released early next week.