Keller trots out veto pen yet again - Albuquerque Journal

Keller trots out veto pen yet again

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller on Tuesday vetoed legislation that would end a new city requirement for project labor agreements on large city construction projects. (Courtesy of City of Albuquerque)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller is trying again to redo something the City Council voted to have undone.

Last week, the council passed legislation repealing a 2021 ordinance requiring union involvement – via project labor agreements – on major city construction projects. On Tuesday, Keller vetoed it.

In his veto message, Keller wrote that the ordinance was intended to “make certain that the City is being prudent with taxpayer money” by creating good-paying jobs and “career pipelines,” and by ensuring accountability and workplace safety standards on public works projects that cost at least $10 million.

His office noted that the legislation – enacted in December – had yet to take root, as no projects have been completed under the rule, though two have gone out for bid with the PLA requirement.

“Simply put, it is premature and imprudent to repeal this ordinance before the impact of its provisions can be assessed,” Keller wrote in his veto message.

In a separate written statement, he called the repeal “way off-base, especially when the Council has far more pressing issues to address.”

His office on Tuesday distributed photos of Keller vetoing the bill next to union leaders.

Councilor Trudy Jones, who co-sponsored the repeal bill, called Keller’s action “childish” and “pandering to the unions.”

Unions contributed heavily to the political action committee backing Keller’s successful 2021 reelection bid.

While the original PLA legislation does not preclude non-union contractors from bidding on major city projects – and the city said non-union contractors have submitted bids for the two new projects requiring PLAs – Jones said she feels it gives union shops an unfair edge.

“I am certainly not opposed to unions or union labor,” she said in a written statement. “However, I am opposed to giving preferential treatment to any group when it comes to bidding and working on City projects.”

This is the third time in about a month that the council voted to strike down an existing policy, and Keller used his veto authority to try keeping it in place.

He has had mixed results thus far, winning one of those battles and losing the other.

Keller succeeded in preserving mayoral power during a public health emergency. The council had voted 5-4 to revoke it, but lacked the sixth vote necessary to override an executive veto.

Keller failed in his attempt to salvage Albuquerque’s plastic bag ban, which six councilors voted to kill.

The council has a chance to override the mayor’s PLA legislation veto at its next meeting, though Keller appears to have good odds since the council passed the repeal on a 5-4 vote.

Councilor Louie Sanchez joined the bill’s four sponsors – Councilors Brook Bassan, Renee Grout, Dan Lewis and Jones – in the repeal.

Councilors Isaac Benton, Pat Davis, Tammy Fiebelkorn and Klarissa Peña voted in the minority.

Tuesday’s veto is actually Keller’s fourth in a month. The other involved the city’s authority to require municipal workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine. While the council had passed Lewis’ bill barring the city from instituting such a mandate, Keller successfully vetoed it.

Home » ABQnews Seeker » Keller trots out veto pen yet again

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

taboola desktop

Los Ranchos judge, pets killed by husband in murder-suicide ...
ABQnews Seeker
Deputies say a man shot his ... Deputies say a man shot his wife and several of their animals before killing himself Friday afternoon at a home in the North Valley. ...
A tiny NM-TX border town is raking in recreational ...
ABQnews Seeker
Customers begin lining up on a ... Customers begin lining up on a hot Friday afternoon in mid-October at Ultra Health in Sunland Park. Just a three-minute drive away, others are ...
How does someone abandon an investment?
ABQnews Seeker
Q: I acquired a 10% interest ... Q: I acquired a 10% interest in a real estate partnership in 2018. The partnership is a Delaware entity and the property is in ...
Vegan food truck Lucky Goose opens brick-and-mortar location
ABQnews Seeker
Food truck Lucky Goose, which has ... Food truck Lucky Goose, which has catered to meat-free diners with vegan milkshakes and plant-based burgers, had its grand opening for its Nob Hill ...
Mama’s Minerals comes to Indian Pueblo Cultural Center's Avanyu ...
ABQnews Seeker
The retailer is New Mexico's largest ... The retailer is New Mexico's largest rock and bead store.
Escaping perfectionism is helping my small business
ABQnews Seeker
I realized that it’s more than ... I realized that it’s more than okay to be my true self at work
Belen puts a halt on new dispensaries
ABQnews Seeker
As the number of retail cannabis ... As the number of retail cannabis stores in Belen continues to grow, the city has put a temporary halt to new applications and zoning ...
Emptying the Notebook: Can somebody tell Donovan Dent he's ...
ABQnews Seeker
Here are some extra notes, quotes, ... Here are some extra notes, quotes, stats, tweets, video and whatever else I could empty out of the old notebook after Friday's Lobo basketball ...
A quiet space for time apart
ABQnews Seeker
Norbertine community adds lodging, meeting space ... Norbertine community adds lodging, meeting space to West Side center