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District 2 Newsletter 6/12/15

Hello Neighbors,

There are three Council meetings this month. The next meeting is Monday, June 15 at 5:00 pm in the Vincent Griego Chambers, basement level of City Hall. An additional meeting will be held on June 22. There are no Council or committee meetings during the July recess next month.

Legislation of Interest

Santolina Development R-15-220 (Benton) On the June 1 Council Letter of Introduction, published on May 29, I introduced R-15-207, (to be heard at the June 15 Council meeting) stating that the City should have input and coordination on the proposed Santolina development Master Plan based on the jointly adopted Planned Communities Criteria and the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Comprehensive Plan, and requesting that the County Commission delay action on their approval of the master plan until such input and coordination can occur. Over my objections, a majority of the City Council voted in an unprecedented move to remove the bill from the Letter of Introduction.

The June 5 memo from City Attorney Jessica Hernandez, written at my request regarding the removal of my legislation R-15-207 from the June 1 Letter of Introduction, states that the action was not consistent with City Council Rules of Procedure. The right of Councilors to introduce legislation is clearly stated in the rules: “…bills may be introduced by any councilor at any regular meeting of the City Council…” (emphasis added). It is unprecedented for the Council to remove legislation from the Letter of Introduction without the consent of the sponsoring Councilor.

I am reintroducing the legislation for immediate action at Monday’s meeting. The proper thing for the Council to do would be to agree to debate the bill on Monday night. Otherwise, it places itself on a very slippery slope by setting a new precedent allowing a majority to quash any legislation that it does not like, without any debate or hearing.

Appointment of Police Chief P-15-8 (Sanchez, Benton) is a proposition to be submitted to the voters at the October 6 municipal election to amend the City Charter to specify that the appointment of the Police Chief will require the consent of the City Council. The charter amendment would also allow Council to remove a Chief for cause with a 2/3-majority vote. This proposition is on the agenda for the Monday, June 15 City Council meeting.
Bosque Projects F/S R-15-171 (Benton, Sanchez) establishes procedures for expending funds and implementing future projects in the Bosque. It is my intent to defer this bill to the June 22 Council meeting.
Food Trucks O-15-36 (Benton) establishes parking opportunities and privileges for food trucks, such as allowing them to park and operate on private property and to park longer than normally allowed. A substitute bill was moved at the Land Use Planning & Zoning (LUPZ) Committee meeting this week and is available online. The next LUPZ hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, August 12.

Upcoming Events & Meetings

DowntownABQ Mainstreet Project for Public Spaces community input meeting Friday, June 19 at 8:30 am in the ABQ Convention Center Cochiti Meeting Room.
12th & Menaul Project: Public Meeting Thursday, June 25 at 5:00 pm in the Chaco Room at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
Chatter Pay-What-You-Wish Concerts on June 28! Classical music in an intimate, informal venue.
Cultural Services Events: June 2015
Solid Waste Transfer Station: The next public meeting has been RESCHEDULED for Wednesday, July 15 at the North Valley Senior Center at 5:30 pm.
ABC-Z Project: Comprehensive Plan update workshops are planned for May and June of 2015.
Rail Yards Market Sundays 9am – 1pm May through October

Project Updates

Projects List
12th & Menaul Project: Public Meeting Thursday, June 25 at 5:00 pm in the Chaco Room at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
Alameda Drain Trail: I provided City funding for our part in a collaborative planning effort with MRGCD, Bernalillo County, and AMAFCA for a multi-use trail along the Alameda Drain/2nd Street. A multi-jurisdictional agreement has been signed by all parties and the planning process will soon begin. More information to come!
Gabaldon/Leopoldo Road Improvements: Information coming soon!
North 4th Street Improvements – Candelaria to Menaul: This project focuses on multi-modal improvements on 4th Street, including a bicycle/pedestrian crossing at the Alameda Drain/Matthew. Updates coming soon!
North 4th Street Improvements – Haines to Constitution: This project includes bulb-outs to provide protected on-street parking and shorter pedestrian crossings, along with curb ramp, signing, and striping improvements consistent with concepts in the North Fourth Street Redevelopment Engineering Study. Construction should begin in late July and is expected to last two to three months.
North 4th Street Proposed Mixed-Use Development: I secured additional funding for the purchase of the site. The City is partnered with the County on this redevelopment project. Updates to come!
Rio Grande Boulevard Old Town: This project will be a Complete Street concept plan for Rio Grande Boulevard between I-40 and approximately Central Avenue. More information to come!
San Isidro Traffic Calming: Information coming soon!

Community Announcements

Solid Waste Transfer Station: The next public meeting has been RESCHEDULED for Wednesday, July 15 at the North Valley Senior Center at 5:30 pm.
• From the City Forester: 30, 20, 10 – 5: Rules of Thumb
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Multicultural Council January 2016 scholarship: Click to learn more!
• ABC-Z Project (Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Update): Online Survey to better understand values and priorities of citizens.
Boards and Commissions Vacancies
Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART): Stay informed here!

Isaac Benton
City Councilor, District 2

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