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Notre Dame alum Keller returning to South Bend

Mayor Tim Keller. (Journal file)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Bob Davie may not be headed to South Bend this week, but Tim Keller is.

The Albuquerque mayor is traveling to Indiana for the University of New Mexico football team’s Saturday game at Notre Dame.

Mayoral spokeswoman Jessie Damazyn said Keller does not typically attend the Lobos’ away games, but “this one is special to him since that’s his alma mater.”

Keller studied finance and art history at Notre Dame and played intramural football there. He is paying his own way to Indiana and has some activities planned around the institution on Friday, Damazyn said.

Despite his ties to Notre Dame, Keller publicly declared Wednesday that he would be cheering for the Lobos. He and South Bend Mayor (and presidential hopeful) Pete Buttigieg even announced a friendly wager on the game, with Keller anteing “ABQ in a Box” featuring local salsa, chile products and other goodies, and Buttigeig wagering some South Bend chocolate, locally roasted coffee and souvenirs.

“The Lobos are going to bring the fight to South Bend this weekend,” Keller said in a video released Wednesday.

Keller has had an interesting – and sometimes adversarial – relationship with UNM. As state auditor in 2017, his office launched a high-profile, monthslong special audit of the UNM athletics department amid concerns over financial mismanagement. And last year, the mayor publicly questioned the UNM regents’ decision to cut men’s soccer to save money.

But Keller’s administration has recently been collaborating with UNM on various initiatives, such as health care at the city’s homeless shelter. And he has been friendly with athletics, too, showing up at a football practice last month to address the team, throw the ball and tell the players they have “a legendary coach” in Davie.

FREE RIDES: Albuquerque’s Transit Department is making it easier to join the international, student-led climate strike on Sept. 20.

ABQ Ride has provided 2,000 free bus passes to an organization helping to promote a series of climate change action events, according to spokesman Rick De Reyes. He said in an email that the advocates at 350.org asked for the passes for use across a week’s worth of events.

That includes a student strike and rally on Sept. 20. Students and Mayor Keller are scheduled to speak at a gathering that afternoon at Robinson Park in Downtown.

“Since the movement to fight back is largely youth-led, we are happy to be able to support our young people who may choose to participate in the Climate Strike with access to safe and free transportation,” De Reyes said in the email.

FOUR NO MORE: And then there were three in District 4.

The race to replace longtime Albuquerque City Councilor Brad Winter has one less competitor with the recent departure of Hailey Josselyn Roy.

Roy was one of four women running for the seat Winter is vacating after 20 years. She faced Brook Bassan, Athena Chistodoulou and Ane C. Romero for the right to represent the Northeast Heights district.

Roy recently posted on her campaign Facebook page about her decision to drop out, saying she had to put her family first.

Roy, a film union worker who was running a publicly financed campaign, had to return the unspent funds – $16,726, according to the City Clerk’s Office.

PLANNING REDESIGN: Albuquerque’s Planning Department is looking a little different.

Keller last week named Brennon Williams the department’s permanent director. Williams had already been serving in the role on an interim basis since David Campbell departed this summer.

The mayor also said that Jolene Wolfley would take a newly created associate director position and that the department has two new deputy directors, James Aranda and Robert “Bobby” Griego. One replaces Williams, and the other is a new position.

Jessica Dyer: jdyer@abqjournal.com

 

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