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Albuquerque’s mayoral race has its first candidate

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The 2017 mayoral race has its first candidate – Deanna Archuleta, a Democrat and former Bernalillo County commissioner.

Archuleta, who served in the Obama administration for three years as part of the Interior Department, said she expects to make economic development and business growth a centerpiece of her campaign. She announced her mayoral campaign Tuesday at Bow & Arrow Brewing Co., a new brewery north of Downtown.

The city of Albuquerque has many strengths, she said, and the right leader can help the city prosper.

“The real issue is that substantive changes do need to be made,” Archuleta said in an interview, “but those changes have to be made through collaboration with the community and a true commitment to this community. That takes real leadership, and I’m that kind of leader.”

City races are nonpartisan, meaning party labels don’t appear on the ballot beside candidates’ names. The regular election is in October 2017; if no candidate gets a majority of the vote, the top two compete in a runoff in November.

Mayor Richard Berry, a Republican, is finishing his second term and says he doesn’t plan to seek re-election. There are no term limits for Albuquerque mayors.

Comment time change

Public testimony at City Council meetings is often a truly odd spectacle.

The people who sign up to speak are a mix of residents, activists, lobbyists and, well, oddballs.

It isn’t unusual to have one speaker offer a heartfelt plea about, say, drug dealers in the neighborhood only to be followed by the next person accusing the council of participation in a Masonic conspiracy.

The testimony – each person gets two minutes – often dominates much of the council’s five- and six-hour meetings.

The council is now taking a fresh stab at reeling it back in.

Councilors voted 8-1 this week to limit the maximum number of times a person can address the council, from four to three.

Under the new rule, people can sign up under general public comment – where anything goes – and on two specific agenda items, where comments are supposed to be germane to the bill at hand. That rule is loosely enforced, however, as it’s hard to discern what’s germane.

Councilor Klarissa Peña was the lone “no” vote on the rule change. She is proposing her own rules amendment that would grant speakers three minutes, not two, to talk.

I’m guessing the new limits, of course, will be a topic of public comment at future council meetings.

The rules amendment passed this week also moves consideration of the “consent agenda” – a packet of routine bills and reports that rarely draw debate – in front of general public comment.

Dan McKay: dmckay@abqjournal.com.

 

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