- Watching The Blue: Changes to the city’s Civilian Police Oversight Agency ordinance were finally approved after three deferrals. Councilor Brook Bassan took the lead in red-lining the 27-page ordinance. The changes include limiting the board’s role to oversight of officer misconduct complaints; clarifying and streamlining board training and qualifications; and aligning the board and ordinance to work more closely with the Court Approved Settlement Agreement.
- Take Another Look: Councilors approved asking the city’s administration to renegotiate the terms of the DOJ consent decree. Police Chief Harold Medina, Mayor Tim Keller and other members of the administration were all in unison saying it was time to take a look at the process. Chief Medina said he thinks the next monitor’s report will be a much different story. He said it is time to reboot the process united as a city. He said police have to be able to do our job while respecting constitutional rights.
- Bag It Your Way: After three years City Councilors put the plastic bag ban in the trash. The Clean and Green ordinance was passed in 2019 and prohibited retailers from handing out single-use plastic bags to customers. After a presentation by the administration showing all the problems with single-use plastic bags and a lengthy discussion, the council ended on a 6-3 vote with the windy West Side Councilors Louis Sanchez and Klarissa Pena siding with Councilors Dan Lewis, Trudy Jones, Renee Grout and Brook Bassan. Councilor Bassan was the sponsor of the bill. She got all fluffed up when saying that people should have the choice to do what is best for them.
- Mayor Power Grab Back: Not sure what went on here when the bulk of the Council went along with limiting the powers of the Mayor in public health emergencies. Several community leaders spoke in support of the Mayor having emergency public health powers. Sounded to this reporter like political posturing when the limitation was passed on a 5-4 vote.
- Cannabis And Other Stuff: Councilors approved a couple of items to clean up the city’s cannabis ordinances in anticipation of the kick-off for recreational cannabis sales. Two items repealed the ordinances that made possession of marijuana and paraphernalia a civil infraction punishable by fines. Another item was deferred that would amend the city’s Indoor Clean Air ordinance that dealt with public consumption of cannabis. These changes were made to be in compliance with state law.
The Council deferred dueling vaccine measures until the next meeting, giving some time to ponder shots in the arm or not.
The next meeting of the City Council is set for a Zoom meeting at 5pm on March 21. Watch it at GOV-TV at cabq.gov or on Comcast Cable Channel 16 or on the city’s YouTube channel. The Council will be meeting in person in the Council Chambers. The public will comment virtually.