From Susan McCarthy: A group of us here are jumping back into what we started with the LANL Coalition in a big way. This is part of an overall strategy that began with our resolution to the Town Council that we think we have a good chance at passing. We'd like to have you on board with this.
ALERT!! PLEASE COME to the RCLC meeting in TAOS April 6th, 9 a.m. at County Chambers
NO MORE LOBBYING by OUR Taos Town & County Representatives FOR EXPANDED NUCLEAR BOMB PRODUCTION at Los Alamos National Lab (LANL)
Clean up/ don't build up! The Regional Coalition must represent our communities, not LANL!! PROTECT our Air, our Water, our Soil, and our Food!
For over 7 years Taosenos have been told that the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities (RCLC) purpose is to lobby for money for CLEAN-UP at LANL. We've noticed that their founding document includes the intent to advocate for LANL's mission- (producing nuclear bombs and the additional superfund waste that goes with it.) We have argued for removal of that phrase in the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA,) and RCLC members have
argued that the JPA cannot be changed because it would have to go through re-approval by each of the 9 county commissions, city councils and tribal governments that have signed on. We have a current representative from the Town, Darien Fernandez, and from the County, Mark Gallegos, on this Board.
The April 6th agenda includes a revision of the RCLC's founding
document, the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) to insert a
conflict-of-interest clause for the Executive Directorship position.
This meeting is in response to a recent scandal that has resulted in the removal of the Executive Director, Andrea Romero, for submitting receipts for inappropriate so-called RCLC expenses like baseball tickets and expensive liquor, and a personal conflict of interest due to LANL-related funding for her ostrich (lean meat) farm.
We have been requesting over the years that the mission of the RCLC be changed to what we were told was the original mission: promoting funding for clean-up of LANL's legacy waste (21 million cubic feet of radioactive and hazardous wastes in unlined pits and shafts and barrels under canvas tents). Now that the JPA is being revised, there are several issues that must be addressed in the Joint Powers Agreement:
1· Removal of the phrase in the JPA: 2a(ii) advocacy of
long-term stable funding for LANL missions (i.e. lobbying for money for nuclear bomb production at LANL)
2· Conflict of Interest: Aside from the Executive Director, and
contrary to the current policy, the members on the RCLC Board must not be currently or formerly employed by LANL or Sandia Labs in any capacity. LANL employment and presence on the Board representing citizen creates an obvious bias and conflict-of-interest, money for profitable pit production vs. clean-up.
3· Public participation: RCLC Board members must provide
provisions for public participation. The Board members, some of which are also LANL employees, only provide a 15 minute public comment period at the end of each meeting with no interaction between public and board members. Oftentimes, the Board members and LANL officials begin to leave during the
comment period. This is a wholly inadequate procedure as it fails to provide the opportunity for constituents to engage with their
representatives in order for their concerns to be addressed or even heard.
If the Regional Coalition refuses to hear and act on these citizen
requests, we must demand that Taos Town and Taos County withdraw from the Coalition. We need your presence at this upcoming meeting. It may be an
opportunity for REAL CHANGE! Please help us pack the house!
Bring signs. Let us be courteous but vocal!!