The City Council rang in the new year by tackling an agenda loaded with leftovers. While the Council cleared most of its plate at its Jan. 5 meeting, it deferred once again an ordinance that requires the city to phase out and retrofit wasteful toilets and other plumbing fixtures. Chief Administrative Officer Ed Adams said the city owns between 2,500 and 4,700 water-wasting toilets. Councilor Michael Cadigan introduced this idea months ago as part of a broader water conservation measure, but fellow councilors shied from it. So Cadigan split the ordinance into two separate bills, hoping to at least get the water-greedy toilets dealt with by the end of 2009. Council members still balked at the estimated $750 per toilet replacement cost and sent Cadigan and Adams back to get more accurate numbers and a better plan on how to pay for the project. About $2.7 million in five grants for the Albuquerque Police Department was approved. A half million dollars will be spread over a new DWI BAT Mobile, more party patrols, continued seat belt enforcement, community-oriented policing and better crime analysis software. One of the grants from the U.S. Justice Department will pump more than $2 million into upgrading the department’s radio infrastructure, such as modems and antenna sites. The grants don’t come free; there is a total of about $65,000 in matching funds that will have to come from the city’s coffers. There will be a whole lot of wishes sent to Santa Fe in Albuquerque’s 2009 legislative resolution, a collaborative measure agreed on by the city’s administration and the Council. It includes a summary of the laws, policies, capital projects and other things Albuquerque would like to see come its way during the upcoming 60-day session. City leaders asked for brick-and-mortar projects, open space acquisition, several types of public transit expansions, protection for the environment, economic development in many forms, funding for youth and senior programs, more money for public, charter and higher education schools, and public safety.Councilor Cadigan announced Monday, Jan. 5, that he will run for mayor this year using public financing. Former state Senate President Pro Tem Richard Romero jumped in the race in late December. It’s still unclear whether Mayor Martin Chavez will seek another term.
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