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District 2 Newsletter

March 30, 2018 Newsletter from City Councilor Isaac Benton
March 30, 2018

Hello Neighbors,

The next City Council meeting is Monday, April 2 at 5:00 pm in the Vincent Griego Chambers, basement level of City Hall:  Agenda.

Public Restroom Downtown:  You may have seen news stories about the self-contained public toilet (Portland Loo) we purchased using district set-aside funds.  A public restroom downtown is a longstanding request of businesses and residents in the downtown area.  Because we were able to purchase a slightly used unit at auction for a fraction of the price of a new one, this is a relatively small investment to address a serious public health issue.  The design is quite heavy-duty and intended for this very common problem in highly urban areas.  It is being used in cities around the country.  We are being very careful about the selection of the most appropriate site for the restroom, and APD is assisting in this.  If for some reason it doesn’t work out in the location chosen, it can be relocated. Other areas of town including Montgomery Park and Old Town have also expressed an interest.  

Legislation of Interest

  • FY 19 Operating Budget R-18-24 (Jones, by request):  The Mayor has submitted his proposed budget to City Council. The City Council will formally introduce the budget at Monday’s meeting.  Committee of the Whole (COW or “the budget committee”) hearings are scheduled for Thursday, May 3; Thursday, May 10; and Thursday, May 17.  Councilor Trudy Jones is the Chair, and COW hearings are held in the Vincent Griego Chambers at 5:00 pm. I plan to be very active in reviewing (and amending as necessary) this first budget from the Keller administration. Please review it yourself and let me know your thoughts!
  • O-18-11 Adopting Amendments to the IDO (Benton, Jones) will have its first hearing in front of full Council at Monday’s meeting.  These amendments generally focus on minor errors and omissions within the adopted IDO document.  Council staff is working on a few additional amendments in response to public input.   You may send comments to the committee through the Council Clerk, Crystal Ortega at [email protected]
  • O-18-12 Decriminalization of Marijuana (Davis, Benton) is on Monday’s agenda.  You may recall that I co-sponsored a bill with Councilor Rey Garduno in 2015 to decriminalize minor possession of marijuana in the city of Albuquerque.  Although that bill passed on a 5-4 vote, it was vetoed by Mayor Berry, and we were unsuccessful in overriding the veto.  I am co-sponsoring with Councilor Davis a similar bill that will be introduced on Monday. Ultimately, the State needs to legalize marijuana and get into the 21st Century. Governor Martinez went so far as to veto legalized hemp, a centuries-old commercial product that produces no “high.”
  • R-18-18 Intent to Adopt 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (Benton, Davis) will be heard at the Finance & Government Operations (FGO) Committee meeting on April 9.  This is a resolution to take the first steps toward adopting the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for the City.  I previously was the sponsor of the very advanced and easy to use Albuquerque Energy Conservation Code, along with now-US Senator Martin Heinrich.  The AECC was unfortunately repealed in 2010 after a change of Administration and Council, at which time the City reverted to the now-outdated 2009 IECC.  My intention is that the much more up-to-date 2018 code will help Albuquerque once again be a leader in energy

Upcoming Events

  • Public Safety & Consumer Protection Fair: Tuesday, April 3 | 5 – 7 pm
  • Downtown Neighborhoods Association's Mother's Day Historic Home Tour: May 13 | 11 am – 3 pm
  • Valley Area Command Community Policing Council:  Meets every 4th Thursday from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at the Wells Park Community Center.  Community policing is a two-way street; get involved!
  • Open Space Visitor Center Events:  We have the best open space system in the country – check it out!
  • Explora Calendar: Great events for kids of all ages.
  • ABQ365 Events:  Year-round events in Albuquerque.

Community Announcements / Resources


  • Project List
  • Rio Grande and Candelaria Roundabout:  The final agreement with NM Dept. of Transportation has been signed. I am cautiously optimistic that the project will go out for construction bids late this year.
  • Indian School Road:  I have secured funding for two Complete Street studies and planning for Indian School Road, between Carlisle Blvd and Broadway Blvd. NE, and between 12th Street and Rio Grande Blvd NW. 
  • Kirtland Community Dog Park:  There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for this recently completed project on Saturday, April 21 at 11:00 am. Congrats to this wonderfully active neighborhood on our latest accomplishment together!
  • Santa Barbara Martineztown Pedestrian Improvements:  The study is complete and the report and recommendations have been finalized and posted online.  I am planning a “participatory budgeting” process to get input from the neighborhood to help the City prioritize the first actual projects.

Isaac Benton
City Councilor, District 2