As the city plays a game of red light, green light with intersection cameras, voters will have their say during the Tuesday, Oct. 4 elections. Public opinion will be taken into account, but in the end the fate of the red-light cameras rests with the City Council. The vote will be considered “advisory,” yet councilors will be hard-pressed to ignore your advice.
There’s a hopelessness floating around Albuquerque. Our wallets are slim. That’s part of it. As a result, citizens might not turn out to the vote centers in 2011. Seats could change hands over a few scores of ballots cast by those who still believe. Let’s hope that red-light camera issue draws people to polling locations on Tuesday, Oct. 4. The clerk’s making it easy this year, too. We can vote at any of 49 spots around the city. Check out our endorsement guide, complete with council recommendations, a breakdown of proposed bonds and a clip-n-save cheat sheet, all below.
Councilor Debbie O'Malley, who's running unopposed this year, says the relationship between Democratic councilors and the mayor has grown increasingly strained. "The ideology starts to take over. We started seeing this first with the immigration issue." When the Council tried to get the city's budget together, the partisan divide became clear. "The budget was it. That was like, Yeah, there are Republicans and Democrats on that Council."
It's fair to say that challenger Bill Tallman has experience in city government. Stretching back decades, he's worked for various administrations around the country, typically for cities smaller than ours. But it's also fair to say Tallman doesn't know much about Albuquerque. That’s just part of why the Alibi was swayed to endorse incumbent Brad Winter.
You've got to hear unopposed incumbent Rey Garduño talk about the International District. Most of the editorial staffers at the Alibi have had a hard time adjusting to the term that replaced the War Zone. The new name went on like a glossy coat of paint on a busted fence—or so we thought. By the end of our endorsement interview with the councilor, we were sold.
In one corner, we've got Trudy Jones, a friendly, knowledgeable councilor with few accolades and a problematic position on APD. In the other, there's Greg Payne, a lively contender who says the Council has to do more to get in front of this police-shooting issue. He's got political experience, too. But it's not all good experience.
General obligation bonds are debt the city takes on and promises to pay back with interest. These bonds are paid with property taxes, and typically, new ones are issued when old ones are paid off. That way, property taxes don’t increase.
The City Clerk’s Office is changing it up this year. You can vote at any of 49 centers throughout the city instead of being required to vote at one predetermined location on election day. (Two were yet to be announced at press time. Check cabq.gov/clerk for updates and an interactive map.) Pick the place that’s most convenient for you and head on over between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4.