At the Dec. 4 meeting, councilors elected leaders for the coming year. District 2 Councilor Debbie O'Malley is the new president and District 7 Councilor Sally Mayer is the new vice-president, both elected unanimously. Councilors thanked each other for their service during the previous year and praised outgoing President Martin Heinrich, calling him considerate, compassionate and honorable, and noting that the Council had seen less acrimony during his term than in recent years.
An upcoming hot button bill limiting the use of cell phones while driving went to the Finance and Government Operations Committee for initial debate. A previous hot button issue--a streetcar line--has now been sent to various committees for more study in the context of a complete transit plan. D.W. Madison, self-described "founder and public mouth of Rails Incorporated," praised streetcar transit and said the proposed line should have extended farther along Central to Eubank. Madison also mentioned several deserted big-box stores suitable for park-and-ride locations. More public discussion of such possibilities might have reassured the public the streetcar would eventually expand beyond tourist and shopping routes.
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