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V.23 No.36 |

Opinion

County Commission Offers Alternative to Berry's Tender Mercies

On Friday, Aug. 29, Mayor Richard J. Berry made history. In his YouTube communiqué debut, Berry became the first Albuquerque mayor to veto an election amendment. According to Berry's statement, R-14-91 contained proposals he couldn't "in good conscience" allow Albuquerque citizens to vote on. Translation: Berry claims his ethics prevented him from permitting us to weigh in at the polls on a) raising sales tax one-eighth of a centto fund social services for the addicted, homeless and mentally illand b) to reduce criminal penalties for the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.

R-14-91 also contained ballot initiatives to a) grant the City Council approval authority over the Mayor's hiring of police and fire chiefs, b) change the voter-initiative process to prevent costly special elections and c) a bond proposal to fund "metropolitan redevelopment." In layman's terms, Berry's veto was a political strong-arm tactic to get the City Council to drop the tax increase and penalty reduction initiatives. Otherwise, these other three issues wouldn't get to voters. And it worked. On Wednesday, Sept. 3, the Council compromised (read: caved).

And that, as they say, could have been that. But on Friday, Sept. 5, the Bernalillo County Commission issued a press release calling for voter input on the tax increase and marijuana penalty reduction initiatives that Berry nixed. In the release Commission Chair Debbie O’Malley said, “It’s critical that we hear directly from the people about how to move forward on these two issues that have such a major impact on our community. We need to look for ways to divert people with serious mental illness out of jail and into treatment instead. This issue impacts all of us and Bernalillo County residents are ready to talk about solutions.”

In the same release, Commissioner Maggie Hart-Stebbins states, “Better access to mental health services and marijuana penalties are clearly on the minds of Bernalillo County residents. Both of these issues have a significant impact on public safety and county government so it makes sense to give the voters a say in this community discussion.”

The County Commission will convene on Monday, Sept. 8, at 10am to make a final decision on which questions voters will get to address. That's where you come in. O'Malley and Hart-Stebbins want your input on the tax and marijuana penalty initiatives. Based on the overwhelmingly critical responses to Berry's veto video and the veto post on his Facebook page, many of you have something to say. So say it. If the Commission adds these initiatives to the ballot, all Bernalillo County residentsnot just city folkwill have an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in creating local public policy.

These are difficult times for our city, and we appear to be at a crossroads. It's easy to be cynical. But rather than reposting memesespecially those featuring Mark Twain's belief that voting makes no differencetake a few minutes this weekend to engage your representatives on issues that matter to you. To facilitate that conversation, scroll on for quick links to contact O'Malley and Hart Stebbins. Use your voice. It's more powerful than you know.

Click here to email Debbie O'Malley or call her at (505) 468-7027.

Click here to email Maggie Hart-Stebbins or call her at (505) 468-7108.

V.21 No.46 |

News

The Daily Word in BP, poorest president and Pong

The Daily Word

BP's looking at a $4.5 billion fine and criminal charges against staff members.

The gap between rich and poor in New Mexico is the widest in the nation.

Pit bull terriers killed a Chihuahua and sent her owner to the hospital.

Debbie O'Malley might remain on the Council and take a seat on the County Commission.

Remember when 48 women training for the military said they'd been sexually assaulted or harassed by their instructors? The Air Force has a weird solution: Trainees must have a wingman all the time.

Nonstop flights from Albuquerque to New York.

FBI investigates death threats against the guy holding the coyote-killing contest in Los Lunas.

The poorest president in the world. "If you don't have many possessions, then you don't need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them."

Violence escalates in Gaza and Israel. Rockets kill 15 Palestinians and three Israelis.

Louisiana governor is the first Republican to denounce Mitt Romney's notion that he lost the election because President Obama gave gifts to minorities and youth.

5-Hour Energy shot-like drink blamed for 13 deaths.

Colorado Visitors Bureau plans NOT to capitalize on legal recreational marijuana.

Science looks at rappers' brains to find the basis of improvisation.

Pong is 40-years-old and no one has topped it, says this guy.

How to become as observant as Sherlock Holmes. (Also, "Sherlock," the BBC miniseries available on Netflix instawatch, is dope.)

V.20 No.15 | 4/14/2011

Feature

Best of Burque bonus: Councilor Debbie O'Malley’s favorite things about ABQ

Albuquerque’s District 2 City Councilor let us peek at her Best of Burque ballot. (Click here to read picks from Gwyneth Doland, Tom Frouge, Jaque Fragua and three others).

Best High School

Valley, of course!

Best Festival or Parade

Carnuel Road Parade and Fiesta, a true community celebration!

Best Thing About Albuquerque

The PEOPLE!

Best Mural

The Convention Center mural. It is very colorful and lively.

Best Museum

¡explora! It's got something for everyone at any age.

Best Arts Nonprofit

VSA North Fourth Art Center. VSA is a community-based organization that serves the whole community and has played a significant role over the years in changing society's attitude toward people with disabilities. At VSA you will find some of the most wonderful pieces of art and incredible artists.

Best Bakery

Flying Star. Because they use butter in everything!

Best Specialty Grocery Store

La Montañita Co-op, because it supports local growers and has the best deal on bulk oatmeal.

Best Toy Store

Out of the Blue on Rio Grande. You can find a toy for anyone at any age and support a local business!

Best Gym

New Heart Center for Wellness, Fitness and Cardiac Rehabilitation. After my husband's heart attack we started attending this gym and have really enjoyed the experience.

Best Spa

Betty's. I had a facial there, what a treat.

Best Dry Cleaner

Route 66 Dry Cleaners. Dependable and affordable, they do the best job.

Best Hair and Nail Salon

Salon "B." The salon is owned and operated by a local Old Town family, Barbara does a great job on my hair and her mom does my nails.

Today's Events

Miniatures & More 2014 Grand Opening & Sale at Albuquerque Museum of Art and History

Featuring works by Timur Akhriev, Charles Aldrich, Stephen Datz and more, as well as a host bar and hors d'oeuvres.

Ryan Divide • classic rock at Sidelines Sports Grille & Bar

Samhain Gathering at Abitha's Apothecary

More Recommented Events ››
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