Ol’ Mayor Mustache wins again, despite a rough year that included harsh criticism for the city’s police force, Berry giving the go-ahead for the controversial Bosque trail construction and a difficult situation involving the city’s homeless problem. But, as far as our readers are concerned, Berry has emerged smiling wide and smelling like a rose.
2) Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham
3) City Councilor Isaac Benton
Worst Elected Official
La Tejana, on the other hand, didn’t fare quite so well. Even though she handily won her reelection bid, Martinez’ tenure as Governor has left a bad taste in our readers’ mouths. Whether it’s Martinez calling teachers lazy, attacking the state’s mental health infrastructure or controversially appointing former Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobson—who has no social work experience or training—to head the Children, Youth and Families Department, our readers are pretty much over her.
2) Mayor Berry
3) “All of them”
“Best” Local Scandal
This was really a bumper year for APD in terms of foofaraws, kerfuffles and apparent disregard for human lives. Not too surprisingly, our police department’s apparent inclination to violence, which has become Albuquerque’s latest claim to infamy, took top spot on the scandals list this year. In second place, Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera got the honor for her continual test pushing, and the Mayor’s unilateral decision to start bulldozing a trail through the Bosque came in third.
2) Hanna Skandera’s appointment to Public Education Secretary
3) Bosque trail bulldozing
Best Use of City Money
Paseo del Norte Interchange
It’s not too often that an extended highway construction project gets lauded as the best use of our funds, but there’s no doubt that the Paseo del Norte Interchange has made it a little bit easier to get from one end of town to the other. Similarly, our city’s extensive network of bike trails and lanes took second place. We do love to get around, don’t we?
Most people aren’t dead-set against the idea of a more pedestrian-friendly network of trails in the Bosque area, and arguably the plan could even reduce overall environmental impact. But man, did Berry have to start construction before the approval process was finished? What a dick move.
3) Paseo del Norte Interchange
Best TV News Personality
And Joles comes out swinging! Yep, the KOB Kid scores a knockout in best TV news personality. Of course, most of us used to like him for his calm, authoritative demeanor, but after he made national headlines for nearly coming to fisticuffs in the newsroom, we’re kind of afraid to choose anybody else.
KOB-TV’s news team gets the number one spot on Albuquerque televisions. Appropriately enough, this is Tom “the Burque Brawler” Joles’ home turf, so any competitors that want to snag that trophy for themselves are going to have to go through him.
Our readers like to wake up to a wacky, raunchy, rollicking radio show, and this year, the honor for best on-air personality goes to a foul-mouthed, frat-boyish trio that’s been tearing up the airwaves “morning zoo”-style for over a decade.
Oh, how very erudite we are, Burque. None of that “Edge” or “Peak” or other I Heart Radio nonsense for us. When we turn the dial, we go straight for the Fine, Fine Super Fine 89.9 FM. Where else can you hear a range of tunes that go from the folk stylings of “Home of Happy Feet” to roots reggae to the personalized blends of afternoon freeform? KUNM rules. Except when we swing that dial back over to The Edge during fundraisers. You know it’s true.
2) 104.1 FM The Edge
3) 100.3 FM The Peak
Best Place to People Watch
Tie: UNM and Nob Hill
Tying for first place, UNM’s crowds of bearded hipsters and tweed bedecked professors intersect nicely with the eclectic consumeristas of Nob Hill. Stop by Olo Yogurt Studio on a Friday night and you’ll see these two worlds jammed together like they were conjoined twins, rocking out to the rhythm of as varied a group of street musicians as you’re ever going to encounter.
When it comes to fundraisers, Burqueños put the emphasis on fun. And what’s more fun than pounding your feet against the pavement beneath a sweltering New Mexico sun as your heart rate elevates to explosive, your vision blurs and your sides scream out in agony? Okay, maybe it’s not for everyone, but at least the beneficiary, the Albuquerque BioPark, is something we can all enjoy.
Best Reason to Stay in Albuquerque
Okay, maybe around August we all start thinking of cooler climates and green, verdant forests replete with trickling streams, but during the rest of the year, it’s hard to beat Albuquerque’s mix of sunshine and mild temperatures. And who doesn’t love a New Mexico autumn? Just pray for rain, and everything will be perfect.