20171203 – E-mail to LA County Council regarding Dec 5, 2017 Agenda Items

In reviewing the upcoming agenda for this week, there are a few items that I think need attention.

Regarding item : RE0357-17 INCORPORATED COUNTY OF LOS ALAMOS RESOLUTION NO. 17-21, 72 hours’ notice of Council Agendas is inadequate and insufficient to review significant Agenda Items.

Given the quantity and complexity of items placed on the County Council’s agenda, I think three (3) days’ notice is insufficient for both Councilors and the public to adequately review relevant material and to make an informed, independent decision on the items at hand. I think the minimum notice should be no less than seven (7) days.

The information that is included in the Agenda packets is also insufficient for the Councilors and the public to properly assess if those placing items on the Agenda have performed due diligence prior to bringing these items before Council. Often, the material in the Agenda packets consists of Powerpoint presentations and not all the material information on which those presentations are built and decisions need to be made. IPRA requests for additional information about items on the Agenda should not be the standard process by which the Public derives the details of the County governments workings, with servicing of those requests sometimes exceeding the 3 days’ notice of Agenda posting.

For example, from Council agenda from the Regular Session on November 14, 2017, the Incorporated County Of Los Alamos Ordinance No.673, An Ordinance Authorizing The Sale Of Certain County-Owned Real Property within Site A-13-2 and A-12 To LAH Investors, LLC. The Agenda packet, and related links provide a 4 page Project Concept, essentially a sales brochure. My IPRA request for a copy of the response to the RFP got me a larger sales brochure.

Although I recognize the authority of the County Government to solicit and enter into these projects, the role of oversight falls to the County Council, as the representative of the voters. In that capacity, the Council has an obligation to review the details of those items on which they will approve or disapprove. The voters also have a right to review those same documents so constructive discourse may be entered into, prior to Council’s decision. If it requires IPRA requests to obtain relevant documentation, then the notice of meetings and the posting of Agendas should account for those delays.

On a side note, the number of items on the Agenda should account for the amount of time needed to present, discuss, receive public input and vote, so as to not run Council meetings late into the night. Allowing an excessive number of items on the agenda, the depth and duration of some presentations and the occasional, extended public input takes a mental toll on both the Councilors and the public which may adversely impact decisions.

Regarding item : 9985-17 Follow-up Discussion and Possible Action on Capital Improvement Projects (CIP), questions regarding CIP Fund Statement Summary

Between the FY2018 Adopted Budget and the FY2018 Proposed New Budget 12/5, what is the Bond Issuance Costs Carryover and how did it become a new $11 million expense? That size dollar figure seems too large to be haphazardly added in the middle of the fiscal year. If it was a known amount, it should have been represented in the FY2018 Adopted budget and considered before other projects were funded.

Regarding the Operating Surplus/(Shortfall): How did a $11 million Surplus on the FY2018 Adopted budget turn into a $19 million Shortfall under the FY2018 Proposed New Budget 12/5?

Regarding the PRB request for an additional $2 million : The ending Fund Balance for FY2018 Proposed New Budget 12/5, is $2 million with an ending Fund Balance for FY2019 at $1 million. If the PRB request is approved, the FY2018 Ending Fund Balance will be $0 and the Ending Fund Balance for FY2019 will be $1 million in the hole. This request for additional funds should be denied.

Brady Burke


Paid for by Citizens For Brady W Burke
Brady W Burke, Treasurer


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