Editorial: Take council seat to court - Albuquerque Journal

Editorial: Take council seat to court

It’s unfortunate city leaders chose to hold Monday’s City Council meeting under a cloud of uncertainty. The council met Monday without Councilor-elect Louie Sanchez, who defeated incumbent District 1 City Councilor Lan Sena in last month’s election. Mayor Tim Keller appointed Sena to the council in March 2020 to complete the term of Councilor Ken Sanchez, who died in January 2020.

While this election cycle’s four-year council term starts Jan. 1, Sanchez has asked to be sworn in early, citing a City Charter section that mayoral vacancy appointments are effective until the next regular election.

And he beat Sena on Nov. 2, by 1,215 votes.

City Clerk Ethan Watson had told Sanchez he needed a “certification of election” to be sworn in early; Sanchez presented one from the secretary of state on Friday.

Still, Watson — also an appointee of Keller — has declined to swear Sanchez in early, arguing the term he was elected to represent the West Side-based district doesn’t begin until Jan. 1. Sena has said she won’t step aside early. That meant the nine-member City Council met Monday without Sanchez to consider a number of weighty agenda items.

Sanchez’s attorney has said he’s considering filing a court petition — and given the confusing City Charter language, a judge’s decision is needed here. If a judge rules in favor of Sanchez, he/she should also clarify the validity of recent council votes.

Ultimately, the City Charter’s vacancy appointment language needs to be fleshed out and made clearer.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

Home » Opinion » Editorials » Editorial: Take council seat to court


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Editorial: Congress, NM need to take reasonable steps on ...
Editorials
Somewhere between the extremes of banning ... Somewhere between the extremes of banning firearms and "doing nothing," there are common ...
2
Editorial: Let latest report mark beginning of end of ...
Editorials
To paraphrase Winston Churchill in the ... To paraphrase Winston Churchill in the autumn of 1942 after the British victory in Egypt, the latest ...
3
Editorial: To build, keep trust, NM needs transparent COVID ...
Editorials
The state Department of Health is ... The state Department of Health is grappling with how to present COVID-19 infection data without misl ...
4
Editorial: NM merits radiation compensation, too
Editorials
Extending the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act ... Extending the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act another two years was the right thing to do. Conti ...
5
Editorial: Sorry, NM lawmaking doesn’t need armed staff
Editorials
Guns can be intimidating. That's why ... Guns can be intimidating. That's why crooks often brandish them while robbing stores.  &n ...
6
Editorial: Pulitzer honors NM artist
Editorials
Earlier this month, Raven Chacon, a ... Earlier this month, Raven Chacon, a Diné composer based in Albuquerque, became the first Native Ame ...
7
Editorial: Pet-surrender fee unleashes avalanche
Editorials
Since the Journal implemented a weekly ... Since the Journal implemented a weekly Top of Mind question last fall for our expanded Sunday Opinio ...
8
Editorial: Make fire-ravaged NM whole
Editorials
The federal response to Gov. Michelle ... The federal response to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's request for disaster relief as a result ...
9
Editorial: Ronchetti best among GOP field for governor
Editorials
Today, the Journal concludes its endorsements ... Today, the Journal concludes its endorsements in contested primary races with its picks for governor ...