My name is Denise Derkacs. I’m running for County Council because I want to help Los Alamos County plan for growth and embrace the future while preserving the past and the amenities that make Los Alamos County a great place to live.
As a 38-year resident of Los Alamos County and a retiree from Los Alamos National Laboratory after 20 years of employment, I have both the desire and the time to study and address the challenges currently facing the County. I hope to apply my personal experience raising a family in the County and my professional experience as a chief of staff to senior-level management at the Laboratory to serving on the County Council.
This is my first run for elected public office, but I have been a volunteer member of the County's Community Development Advisory Board since its formation in 2018. Since then, I also have been attending County Council meetings learning about how County government functions and about the issues currently facing the County. My decision-making always will be based on accumulating facts and on analyzing options, and importantly, on input from the people of Los Alamos County.
I recognize three overarching issues facing the County in the immediate future: housing development to address the need for low- and middle-income housing, commercial sustainability to enable small business to thrive, and community services to support growth and preserve our quality of life.
The 2019 County housing study identified the need for more than 1600 additional housing units for rent and/or for ownership, particularly units for low and middle incomes. The County should explore all housing options and all possible building sites to meet community needs, and importantly, solicit public input on all options under consideration.
Commercial sustainability is essential for a thriving community. The County should streamline its permitting processes and consider new zoning options under its development code to enable small business to thrive and support diverse occupations and services necessary for a well-rounded community and a growing population.
To further support growth, the County should prepare to upgrade its services, particularly infrastructure, utilities, transportation, recreational facilities, parks, trails, open spaces, and to the extent allowed, our state-funded public schools – all the things that contribute to the quality of life that we value and want to preserve as the County grows.
These are the overarching issues that I have identified. But, I hope to learn from you, the people I hope to represent on the County Council, about your specific issues and ideas.
Los Alamos County has been my home for 38 years. I was born and raised in New Jersey and I have lived in 10 states, but together with my husband Dennis, I chose to live here in White Rock, to raise our three sons here, and to stay here in retirement. Now I hope to help the County embrace its future while preserving its past by serving on the County Council.
I look forward to serving on the County Council and to representing you, the people of Los Alamos County. I humbly ask for your vote in the upcoming election.
Serving on Community Development Advisory Board
Filing candidacy for
County Council Election
Participating in public hearing on
North Mesa Housing Development