As I listened tonight to Paul Andrus, Community Development Director, and Michael Arellano, Building Safety Manager and Chief Building Official, present how the Nuisance Ordinance was being applied, they kept referencing the County Council as the ones who gave them their marching orders.
They went on to say how their process of building cases against homeowners had been vetted by the County’s attorneys, so when they went to court, they had followed a consistent process and had everything they needed for Court.
They spoke of how they had sent their two Code Enforcement Officers (corrected to Code Inspectors) to San Antonio and El Paso, for 40 hours each, to learn how to enforce the codes that had been adopted from national and international property maintenance codes.
As I listened, several thoughts came to mind and I shared them with the presenters.
I’ve stood in front of the Los Alamos County Council, taking exception to one thing or another that they were voting on. As much as I would love to blame the County Council for this intrusion onto our properties to build a sort of Wonderland, the County Council is not the brain trust for these ideas. They listen to people, like Mr. Andrus and Mr. Arellano, sell ideas and then vote in favor or against those ideas, based on what they’ve been told and what they want. We were told that the Council was made aware that there might be some blowback, but approved it nonetheless.
One does not go to the effort of establishing procedures and getting approval from attorneys, unless you anticipate a fight and intend to push your agenda through the courts.
You don’t send your people to El Paso and San Antonio to get trained on how to implement international property management policies in a small community. You do it to learn how to make people comply.
It is clear that the County is hiring big city folks to come to Los Alamos and those folks feel compelled to bring how they did business in the big city to our small community. What they fail to realize is that we are neighbors. We will call them when we want their help. We don’t need them driving around our community, looking for problems and bringing the heavy hand of government to bear for items of aesthetics.
This does not relieve the County Council of their responsibility to act as our representatives when these ideas are brought forth. I think they should worry when the fox shows up with a plan for getting the chickens in line.
There are four County Council seats up for election next year. I’m going after one of them, but we need at least 3 more like-minded people on the County Council to guarantee that change is made. Join me for the adventure and to make change.
Paid for by Citizens For Brady W Burke
Brady W Burke, Treasurer