Mayor Berry facing appointment confirmation battle

Created: 01/03/2014 5:19 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Albuquerque’s mayor and its city council president are squaring off for a political rumble over the people in some of the top jobs at City Hall.

The issue – does the mayor have to submit some of his top appointees to be confirmed by the council at the beginning of his second term – when they were already confirmed in the first term?

We’re talking about Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry, Deputy CAO Gilbert Montano, and City Attorney David Tourek.

Council President Ken sanchez says they need to be confirmed again, along with a new city clerk.

“The city clerk and the city attorney do not work just for the mayor,” Sanchez said. “They work for the city council and the citizens of this community and we as a council, I believe, based on this language, should be able to go back and reconfirm  these appointments.”

But Mayor Richard Berry says no way – it’s a waste of time.

“Let’s work on bringing jobs to the city,” Berry said. “Let’s work on enriching the community rather than wasting our time and effort and, in this case, thousands of dollars on outside legal opinions because somebody wants to play politics. It’s not the highest and best use of our time or of taxpayer resources.”

The problem is that language in the city charter may be interpreted two different ways when it comes to the council’s re-confirmation powers in a second term. The city attorney is unable to make a ruling because he is one of the targeted officers. That’s why the outside legal bills are already piling up. Look for this issue to move to the front burner at the council’s meeting next Monday.

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