New era underway for elected ABQ officials

Created: 12/01/2013 11:01 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A new era is underway for the city of Albuquerque as six city council members and the mayor were sworn in Sunday.

The composition of the council has changed and that could get in the way of the mayor’s agenda.

At Sunday’s inauguration ceremony, Richard Berry was sworn in for his second and final term as mayor.

He is a Republican, but the office is supposed to be non-partisan.

Berry spoke of big plans for the next four years.

Recent elections also brought big changes to several districts.

Two Republican-held districts went to the Dems, making the council a slight Democrat majority.

Isaac Benton took down Republican Roxanna Meyers. Berry appointed Meyers.

Benton expects there will be more emphasis on basic services, housing and the environment.

“It is going to be a slightly different perspective for the majority of the council,” said Benton. “So it won't just be whatever the mayor wants, which not that it ever was really, but at times it was."

Diane Gibson took down Republican Janice Arnold Jones, another Berry appointee.

Gibson says she could bring forward her first council proposal as early as next month.

“We have some intersections that are very unsafe and I'd like to fix those,” said the Democrat.

Republican Don Harris concedes there will be arguments and new coalitions formed.

"We may have to work with the Democrats to get some of their things and some of their proposals in place so they'll help us so that's just the way it goes,” said Harris.

And depending on the decisions made, the mayor is not ruling out using some of his executive powers.

“When I see things as a mayor that I don't think are best for the city we'll veto them as we did in the first term. We hope those will be rare in a second term like they were in the first term,” said Berry.

The first meeting with this new batch of city council members is Monday at 5 p.m.

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