People will say, "what's the big deal about 1967?" There is a timeline which many of today's residents of Los Alamos are not familiar with.
1947 -- it is determined to turn a temporary military base into a permanent science facility engaged in top-secret work. This will require a resident population. But all of this is created as a Federal Preserve, and the constitutional rights of the residents are severely limited.
1949 -- Los Alamos County is formed. Residents now have some voting rights, but the Pajarito Plateau is still a Federal Preserve. The "town" has a town council, but it can pass no legislation without AEC approval. Residents cannot own property.
1959/60. Congress passes the enabling legislation which will eventually separate the Town from The Lab and the AEC.
1967 -- The first Town/County Hall of an independent Los Alamos is dedicated. Los Alamos is now responsible for its own destiny.
However, in order for the citizens of Los Alamos through their elected representatives to begin to fullfil that destiny, the County government is given a stipend for the purpose of supporting essential services until such time as Los Alamos can develop the economic base needed. It is realistically recognized that for Los Alamos to build such an economy will take time -- several years, possibly decades, and that the bulk of the work will fall to the children who grow up in Los Alamos when they have come of age.
1968 -- The next step in the process is to form a governmental structure. That is accomplished with the completion and adoption of the County Charter.
1969. -- This is the last year that anything goes right for Los Alamos. In June of this year, the County Commission is considering it budget. A representative of the AEC tells them they will have to begin to devise a plan and strategy whereby the amount of monies from the Lab/AEC will be less than 50% of the total budgetary income of Los Alamos. This is the first challenge and call to County to begin the work of building an economic base which is distinct and separate from the Lab for it was always intended that Los Alamos would be distinct and separate. And then the representative says something very telling:
"You cannot rely on the Lab, for the Lab is unreliable".
PAUSE: Realistically, the County could not have done anything significant in regard to the building of a distinct and separate economy prior to this time. To do so requires a lot of planning and work and time -- the earliest date that County could have begun the process would have been January 1970.
The budget for FY70 is passed. It relies on more than 50% of Lab money to finance. What no one knows is that Los Alamos is about to get hammered by the first and largest RIF in Lab history..........................