So Long, Councilors
By Carolyn Carlson
The last meeting of Albuquerque's 18th City Council started with goodbyes to Michael Cadigan and Sally Mayer. There were slight quivers in some councilors' voices as they shared not only warm and fuzzy memories but reminders of the prickly times as well.
Mayer’s dedication was commended along with her productive work for the residents of her district and the entire city. She was also applauded for her effort on the city’s animal welfare ordinance.
Councilor Trudy Jones told Cadigan, “We disagree on almost everything, but it has been a great learning experience sitting next to you.” Fellow Westside Councilor Ken Sanchez said that chunk of the city is a better place because of Cadigan’s endeavors. What had to be the most unusual farewell came from Rudy Serrano, who considered a run for the mayor's seat but was found to live outside the city limits. He said Cadigan and Mayer were bigger than constellations in the sky.
“We disagree on almost everything, but it has been a great learning experience sitting next to you.”
Councilor Trudy Jones to outgoing Councilor Michael Cadigan
Sanchez continued the admirable tone of the meeting with a request to rename the fitness center at Los Volcanes Senior Center the Joe O. Armijo Senior Fitness Center after the well-known Albuquerque Public Schools coach, businessman and family man.
The Council acknowledged receiving a draft of a proposed Climate Action Plan. Sixty members of a task force worked for more than a year to put the project together. Task force members at the meeting said they assembled a comprehensive plan for the city to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the short-, mid- and long-term.
Councilor Don Harris said the proposal’s science is shaky, and he does not believe in climate change. He said the City Council should be very careful about the herd mentality and trying to control the world’s weather. Council Rey Garduño disagreed and said the Council should consider these courses of action for the good of future generations. President Isaac Benton said the plan is full of recommendations that will be beneficial to the city regardless of whether a person believes in global warming. The incoming Council will have to consider the plan for approval.
The Council passed the implementation of the quarter-cent transportation tax voters green-lighted in the October election. Mayer reminded everyone that not one cent can be spent on even thinking about a light rail or streetcar. Other councilors said that attitude was closed-minded and limited the city's options for solving public transportation issues. Because the tax has already been in place for 10 years and this is just a renewal, Burqueños won’t see an increase in what they pay.
The next council meeting is set for Monday, Dec. 7, with newly elected Council members Dan Lewis and Michael Cook.
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