With a few tears and reassurances, Debbie O’Malley attended her last Council meeting on Monday, Dec. 3. She was elected to the Bernalillo County Commission in November, filling the seat vacated by U.S. Rep.-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham.
“I’m not going far,” O’Malley said to attendees in the chamber. “I’ll be here next week as a commissioner.” O’Malley thanked her constituents and staff for all their work over the last nine years. She thanked her fellow councilors, saying even though they may disagree on policy issues, they worked together to get many things done for the city.
The mayor will appoint someone to fill the vacant spot. Councilor Isaac Benton, who was redistricted out of his seat, has thrown his hat in the ring.
Families of men shot by the Albuquerque Police Department showed up en masse to express gratitude that the feds have launched an investigation into APD. The family members showed appreciation for the councilors who supported a Department of Justice probe and blasted councilors who didn’t. “The will of the people will always be stronger than the will of self-serving elected officials,” said Ralph Arellanes, president of the New Mexico chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens.
The Council president’s gavel was passed from Trudy Jones to Dan Lewis. Ken Sanchez will take over the role of vice president from O’Malley, and Brad Winter will serve as the budget committee chairman. O’Malley thanked Jones for her streamlined and tightly run meetings.