There are two serious issues that I just wish Albuquerque’s City Council would just drop entirely. The first is the “Isaac Benton Preservation Act,” also known officially as R-12-69 which would expand City Council from nine members to 13. This conveniently comes at a time when left-wing Councilor Isaac Benton has been redistricted out of his seat. If there were a compelling case for adding councilors, that should have been made BEFORE the recent redistricting, not afterwards. No compelling case has been made for the additional expense associated with four additional councilors, staffs, potential upgrades to Council chambers, and (presumably) another round of redistricting to create a 13-seat map.
Another issue of “leave well enough alone” comes to us from none other than Councilor O’Malley and involves the reconstruction of the intersection at Rio Grande and Candelaria. The plan has rightfully generated opposition. Although I don’t live in O’Malley’s district, I drive through this intersection multiple times per week.
The simple truth is that this is one of several recent projects that are designed to make Albuquerque less driver-friendly (the Lead/Coal and Central “traffic diet” come to mind as others). We can blame/thank our friends in Washington who, while running trillion-plus dollar deficits, apparently have $1.5 million to throw at a perfectly good intersection here in Albuquerque. This roundabout is a classic example of government waste. City Council should listen to the opposition and stop this wasteful project.