With the 525,600 minutes of 2019 ticking away, the Bernalillo County Commission and the Albuquerque City Council held their first meet ups of the New Year.
The Burque City Council gave shout-outs to the Albuquerque Fire and Rescue for the department’s swift response to a recent quick moving fire in the Elena Gallegos open space area. A round of applause went out to the Albuquerque Isotopes, recognizing all the many perks the minor league baseball team brings to not only the city, but all of New Mexico. Another important shout-out and reminder was for the upcoming Women’s March to be held this Sunday, Jan. 20 across the nation and on our own Civic Plaza.
Four Councilors joined together to introduce a bill prohibiting retailers, restaurants included, from providing single-use non-compostable or non-recyclable bags, straws and containers for food carryout or shopping needs. This environmentally friendly idea has taken hold with municipalities and corporations across the globe to cut the massive amounts of plastics polluting our planet. The local initiative will be taken up for a debate and a vote at a future meeting; stay tuned it is bound to get buoyant.
In other Burque business City Councilors: set an across board fee structure chart for organizations and individuals who want to rent city owned rooms and spaces; appropriated about $2 million in general obligation bond money for the West Central Metropolitan Redevelopment Area’s 80-unit Nuevo Atrisco project; and appointed Camilla C. Feibelman to the Water Protection Advisory Board, Terrence J. Brunner to the Albuquerque Development Commission, Sarah M. Fetty and Karl Braithwaite to the Personnel Board and Kara Grant to the Lodgers’ Tax Advisory Board.
County Commissioners started their Jan. 8 regular meeting with the election of Maggie Hart Stebbins as the Chair for the coming year. Commissioner Debbie O’Malley was elected as Vice Chair. Newly elected Commissioner Charlene Pyskoty took her seat for her first meeting. Commissioner Lonnie Talbert was excused leaving Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada as the sole male at the government dais.
Commissioners gave a robust shout-out to some young football players for making it in to the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame National Youth Championships. The Rio Rancho Rams, La Cueva Bears and Volcano Vista Hawks were honored for their dedicated training and playing. The three youth football team coaches were on hand to accept the recognition for being picked for the national competitions. “We are very proud of you,” Commissioner Quezada said to the teams.
The intersection of Bridge and Orchard Gardens is in for a major upgrade with the approval of $8 million bond package to start the tractors rolling on Valle del Rio, a new 58-unit low to moderate income apartment complex for senior citizens. This is great news for a region rich with our area’s history but infrastructural underserved. This will make it possible for some longtime local senior folks to stay close to their roots.
East on Route 66, Commissioners gave the beautifully transforming De Anza Motor Lodge in east Nob Hill a $350,000 Local Economic Development Act grant. Some of the bucks will be used to help with the preservation and maintenance of the historic Zuni murals that graced the walls of the 1939 treasure. The seven priceless murals depict the Zuni’s winter solstice Shalako ceremony and were painted by the legendary Zuni artist Tony Edaakie. When the $9 million renovation is completed the murals will be on display for all to admire.
At a special meeting held Jan. 14, Antionette Sedillo Lopez was appointed by County Commissioners to fill a state legislative seat vacated by State Senator Cisco McSorley who is taking on the role as director of the Probation and Parole Division. McSorley leaves big shoes to fill as he has tightly held the sprawling, diverse midtown district seat since 1997. Among her many awesome accomplishments, Sedillo Lopez is a former associate dean at the University of New Mexico law school. She leaves her post as executive director of Enlace, a nonprofit that provides outreach to our immigrant communities.
Looking to adopt a furry, feathery or scaly friend? The county’s new Animal Care and Resource Center opened its doors on south Second Street, just south of Woodward. The 17,000 square foot $7.8 million facility will house and adopt out, about 150 dogs, 100 cats along with reptiles, horses, cows and just about any other creature. There will be low-cost microchipping, spay and neuter and other services. The new shelter will take in animals from the villages of Tijeras and Los Ranchos and the other unincorporated parts of the county.