Mayor Martin Chávez might get a lagoon at Tingley Beach after all.The mayor claims that the council failed to act on his proposal in the time required by the Albuquerque Code of Ordinances. According to § 2-12-3, council has 60 days to take action on the mayor's proposed capital plan.
He notified city councilors on Tuesday that the bond projects they approved this month aren't the ones scheduled to go on the Oct. 6 ballot. Instead, it's his proposals that would go before voters.
(D) The Council shall approve the Capital Improvements Program as proposed or shall amend and approve it. Council action shall be within 60 days after it has been submitted by the Mayor. This period begins on the date of introduction of the CIP bill at a City Council meeting. The Council shall hold at least one public hearing on the proposed program.The controversy comes from the word "action." The council argues that it took action on the measure by referring it to committee and subsequently deferring the issue until April 6th. Of course the City Attorney, Bob White disagreed interpreting the ordinance in a way that benefits his boss.-City of Albuquerque Code of Ordinances
[Sidebar]What's most humorous about this whole affair is that the Almighty Alcalde - after blatantly ignoring council authority - talks about negotiations. City Ordinances clearly define the process by which the Capital Improvements Program is approved and the role each branch of municipal government plays. Having your city attorney provide an "opinion" that invalidates the work of the legislative branch simply because you don't get your wading pool is a sign of just how overbearing and tyrannical this mayor has become. It's behavior that's expected from third world dictators, not from elected officials in the United States.
Kind of reminds us of the sham that was the defense of Albuquerque's mayoral term limits. Marty's lawyers sued the city. Marty's lawyers at the city chose "independent" council to defend the city charter provision that Marty was challenging. Yeah, we know... it's shocking that Marty prevailed.
Mayor Chavez has provided yet another argument for term limits - particularly for the executive branch. Executives have far too much power over taxpayer money. They negotiate contracts with vendors and determine compensation for city employees.
After almost TWELVE years in office, it's far too easy for those who are either employed by or who do business with the city to believe that their only avenue for advancement is through Martin Chavez. That kind of power leads directly to corruption in big ways and in small.
We hope the council has the fortitude to follow through with their threat to sue the administration. It's time that the council provide a check on what is increasingly becoming a city government ruled by the Almighty Alcalde. The best check of all would to pass the position on to someone else and do so regularly. Otherwise, we'll all be under the thumb of our own little Metro Tyrant.