Council Watch: A Pleasant Buzz

Carolyn Carlson
2 min read
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Councilor Debbie O’Malley read a proclamation for “Pollinator Week” in honor of urban bees at the Monday, June 21 Council meeting. Part-time beekeeper Chantal Foster, along with a handful of other city beekeepers, thanked the Council for declaring the city bee-friendly. Foster reminded everyone how important bees are in our ecosystem because they pollinate our crops, such as fruits, nuts and green chile. The proclamation encourages citywide bee-friendly practices, like avoiding commercial pesticides in home gardens.

“This is
what Albuquerque tastes like,” Foster said as she gave the Council little jars of urban honey.

It was like Christmas for attorneys when the Council reached into its sack and handed out some bucks. Without discussion, the Council spent $1.58 million in contract payments to nine private legal firms. The nine firms handle 52 city-involved lawsuits, according to city records. The lawsuits include disputes ranging from civil rights violations and excessive force claims to zoning, real estate and employment issues.

One citizen at the meeting had questions: “What is the nature of these cases? Why does the city have so many lawsuits? And why do we need outside lawyers when we have a whole staff of attorneys?” asked city resident Bob White (no relation to retiring City Attorney Bob White) during the public comment section. The Council did not respond before approving the payments, which were tucked into the consent agenda.

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