A Fresh Start
By Christie Chisholm
And so it begins. The first meeting of the 17th Council got off to a late start as a full house shuffled about with handshakes, welcomes and words of congratulation. First-time Councilors Ken Sanchez (District 1, replacing Miguel Gómez), Isaac Benton (District 3, replacing Eric Griego) and Don Harris (District 9, replacing Tina Cummins) expressed excitement over their new endeavors, while second-round Councilors Michael Cadigan (District 5) and Sally Mayer (District 7) thanked their constituents for another term.
Mayor Martin Chavez attended and said he was “looking forward to the opportunity to improve relationships” with the new Council, adding that he hoped to start attending all Council meetings, or the first part of them, at least.
Other changes also swept through the chambers as City Councilor Brad Winter stepped down from his role as Council president and City Councilor Martin Heinrich was voted into his place, with Harris getting voted in as vice president. It was also announced that James Lewis, the mayor's chief administrative officer (CAO), would officially retire from his position on Dec. 31, and words of appreciation were heard throughout the night for Lewis' service.
The mayor's appointment of Bruce Perlman as the new CAO and his reappointments of Bob White to city attorney, Ed Adams to chief operations officer, Gail Reese to deputy CAO of finances and Nick Bakas to deputy CAO of public safety were all unanimously approved by the Council.
One of the first items approved by the new Council was to cancel the Dec. 19 meeting and schedule a special meeting on Jan. 9.
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