Zippity Do Da
As often happens on election eve, city councilors zipped through a few bills on Oct. 1 and cleared the chambers in less than an hour. Most legislation was rescheduled for Oct. 15.
Councilor Ike Benton said his bill regulating "buskers," or street performers, "went from one extreme to another." The original bill allowed independent performers who have permits to entertain and solicit donations on city properties, specifically Old Town, Tingley Beach, Civic Plaza, Fourth Street Mall, city skate parks, Alvarado Transportation Center and city buses. A substituted bill regulated buskers in exhaustive detail. The final form clarifies that street performances are permissible in Old Town, but that entertainers must pay a fee to use the bandstand. The bill passed unanimously.
Councilor Michael Cadigan's homeschooling bill directs that "homeschooled children shall be given equal access to all city-sponsored educational programs at the city's Biopark facilities and museums." At present, homeschooling groups must have verification from each participating family that children are homeschooled, while public or private schools only submit one form for each group outing.
Councilor Craig Loy said, "What prevents me from showing up at a museum with my grandchildren and saying they are homeschooled?" to get the reduced rate. Cadigan said, "Does the city really want to hassle a 10-year-old for ripping the city off for two dollars?" Homeschooling parents said a group would still have to turn in a form beforehand.
Toni Martorelli, director of the city's Cultural Services Department, said paperwork from each homeschool family was required because there was no state-approved list of homeschooled children such as exists for public and private school students. The bill passed unanimously.
Correction: The first sentence of the segment about Iraq issues in the Sept. 27 "Council Watch" should have read, "Early in the meeting the Albuquerque Raging Grannies denounced APD's response to their recent anti-war protest, while the evening ended with the passage of Benton's bill urging Congress to begin withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq."