City council to address Mayor Keller’s 2 vetoes in upcoming meeting

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque city councilors are planning to address Mayor Tim Keller’s two vetoes this week.

Some city councilors want to end Albuquerque’s plastic bag ban, but it will take six councilors to override a veto. Now, KOB 4 explains why it’s only one vote away from staying in the trash for good.

A debate is dividing the Albuquerque city council and Mayor Tim Keller, one that could once again play out during Monday’s city council meeting.

"We need to have a middle ground, so we can’t be extreme and say ‘no plastics,’ we can’t be extreme and say only one thing or another," said Brook Bassan, Albuquerque city councilor.

Bassan is one of the councilors opposing the ban.

"We should allow people the choice for their priority, and what they need to do that best serves their needs, rather than us mandating and telling them what to do," she said.

But last week, Keller vetoed city council’s repeal of the ban, writing in his veto message to councilors:

"I write to you not taking lightly the Executive Veto power and also with the acknowledgement that this action may not ultimately stand."

That’s because the city council needs just six votes to override the mayor’s veto – the same number of councilors who voted to repeal the ban. In his letter, Keller asked city council to hold off.

"To allow proper study of its impact, research alternatives that may better help our city achieve our sustainability goals and keep our city clean."

That study is currently being done by the city’s Solid Waste Department, but there hasn’t been too much time to study the plastic bag ban. The ban started in January 2020 but was suspended a few months later when COVID hit and was only reinstated last August.

The next city council meeting is on April 4 at 5:00 p.m.