Third time’s the charm? On, Monday, Sept. 19, the Council took another shot at passing a version of a resolution citizens have been demanding for months. The Council unanimously passed a compromise measure “affirming that the City Council and the mayor will work cooperatively and collaboratively with the Department of Justice should it choose to conduct a comprehensive review into whether there has been a pattern or practice of civil rights violations by the Albuquerque Police Department.”
That’s not quite the way the original was written. Mayor Richard Berry vetoed the first attempt, which directly asked the Justice Department to come probe APD.
The Council heard an hour and half of public comment on the topic that included two elementary aged girls, Christine and Allegra. They read a moving statement about the 14 sons, fathers, husbands, brothers and friends who were killed by the department in the last 20 months. “They did not have to die,” they said.
Rob Perry, the city’s chief administrative officer, said the city is already working with the Justice Department, which will make its own decision on whether to investigate.
In other business, the Council deferred rolling back the green-energy building codes put in place by former Mayor Marty Chavez. It also put off approving changes to the electronic sign ordinance. This will allow more time for councilors and the public to review the proposed sweeping changes.
The Council told the administration to speed up its search for a new city attorney, while John Soladay officially became the city’s chief operations officer. Soladay has been with the city since 1999 and most recently served as the director of the Solid Waste Management Department. Councilors said they were pleased to have him on board. His new position bumps his annual salary from $107,000 to $120,000.
The next Council meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5, in the Council Chambers in the basement of City Hall.
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