Albuquerque City Council votes on amendments to city charter

Albuquerque City Council votes on amendments to city charter

Metro residents made their voices heard at Monday's city council meeting. The council had some city charter amendments up for final action.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque City Council approved some big city charter amendments Monday night that voters will get the final say on in November.

Councilors addressed changing the protocol for municipal runoff elections. Currently, the percentage of votes needed to avoid a runoff is 50%. The legislation proposed changing that to 40%.

Councilors amended the legislation to specify a candidate for city council or mayor with the majority of votes wins an election, despite the percentage, unless there is a tie.

That passed and will go to voters in November.

Not all councilors agreed with this decision. Three councilors voted against it, saying voters would likely vote against it anyway.

“We’ve had hundreds of people now speak out on this bill and it’s been nearly universal that people are not in favor of this,” Councilor Joaquin Baca said.

“We would really like to see a task force that looks into charter change and what is required of our charter,” Councilor Tammy Fiebelkorn said.

City councilors also voted on sending a proposal to voters that would give city councilors more of a say when it comes to firing key city employees. The change, if the council passed it and voters approved it, would give councilors the power to fire the chiefs of the police and fire departments. It would require seven votes from city councilors.

“It’s gonna take a small miracle to get seven of us to remove one of these positions and if that’s the case those people, they need to go,” Councilor Brook Bassan said.

A proposal to give councilors the power to fire the city attorney and city clerk did not pass because of disagreements between the bill’s sponsors.