The Councilor and the Grapes
By Carolyn Carlson
An empty chair stood where outgoing City Councilor Michael Cadigan should have been during the Wednesday, Oct. 7 Council meeting. Cadigan took a thrashing from political newcomer Dan Lewis the day before, losing his Westside seat in the municipal election. The Build Unser Road Now group complained his absence meant the road project Cadigan championed is now dead.
Mayor-elect R.J. Berry waltzed through the chambers talking with attendees. He visited with Council members briefly as they headed for their dinner break.
A couple of dozen people addressed the Council regarding the coming eviction of the city’s public access channel studios. Quote... Unquote, Inc., the nonprofit that runs channel 27 and Encantada TV channel 26, was told to check out of the old Bernalillo County Courthouse by Dec. 31 because the county wants to regain use of the entire building. City representatives have said they are going through an inventory of city buildings to find a space for the studios.
Laura Dale, a volunteer with Quote... Unquote, Inc., said the public access channels provide venues for people who otherwise would not have a voice.
Vanessa McDaniel, 16, an intern, said her life changed for the better when she came to work with the people at the studio. Kenneth Knoll, founder of Southwest Communications, said he has been involved for many years with public access and the nonprofit is a trailblazer and a model for successful public access channels nationwide. The issue was put on the Monday, Oct. 19 agenda.
Several items were approved without any lengthy discussion. The Council extended a moratorium on any significant construction or demolition along Fourth Street from Marble north to Solar Road. It also formed a community gardens study group to expand the number of city gardens and gave the green light to begin the sector planning process in the International District.
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