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News/Opinion
‹‹ V.18 No.48 | November 26 - December 2, 2009

News Bite

Berry’s Promises

By Marisa Demarco
Mayor Richard Berry
Mayor Richard Berry

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, Martin Chavez will leave his seat in the Mayor's Office free for the buttocks of incoming Mayor Richard Berry.

One of the major failings of press everywhere is a lack of follow-up. So here's a list of what Berry said he would do when the campaign trail led to the Alibi offices. Clip it out and stick it under the 505 magnet on your fridge. Keep it in mind over the next four years as things unfold. Let's talk specifics, action items you can hold your new mayor accountable for.

Crime

Berry said he would restore funding to the youth gang prevention program. He also said he would do away with the "sanctuary city" policy Chavez implemented. Look out immigrants—with that policy as is, cops can't check into an arrestee's immigration status unless it's relevant to the case.

Recycling

The system is broken, he said, and involving private industry is the answer.

City Council

He'll work well with the Council, he assured. And that shouldn't be too hard now that the Council is largely conservative.

Red-Light Cameras

If it's true that red-light cameras don’t decrease accidents, Berry said he would either find a way to make them effective or phase them out. Data is inconclusive so far, he added.

Streetcar

Nay, he said. "I am opposed to a trolley car."

Arena

Now is not the time. When it is time, voters should decide, he said.

LGBT Issues

Though his voting record in the Legislature indicates he's a strong opponent of domestic partnerships, he said he would not change benefits plans for city workers that extend to same-sex partners.

Green Jobs

Chase ’em, sure, he said. But build a broad-based private sector—not just a government sector. And seek out other types of industry, too, for blue-collar workers.

Impact Fees

Berry is not in favor of charging builders and developers fees that are later used to build parks and sidewalks. Further, he implied lower fees for eco-friendly builders seemed unfair. Industry will drive "green" building, and developers will go that route if they can save money by constructing energy-efficient structures.

Transparency

Berry said he would build an online database allowing every Albuquerque citizen to easily track tax dollars and contracts.

Term Limits

At Chavez' request, the state Supreme Court in 2008 decided to do away with the rule restricting a mayor to two consecutive terms. Berry promised he'll occupy the Mayor's Office for a maximum of two terms.