First city council meeting of the year rehashes 2022 problems

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Albuquerque City Council is meeting Wednesday night for the first time this year.

City Councilor Pat Davis says it may be a new year, but there’s still old business on the agenda.

“Well there’s a little bit of déjà vu at the city council,” said Davis. 

Davis said it’s a new year and the city council still has agenda items they’ve been debating for months. 

“The two most contentious items on the agenda tonight are going to be another veto override attempt by some councilors who want to repeal the Safe Outdoor Spaces, and the competing bills on what to do next with a free fare program on the city’s bus system,” Davis said. 

Davis said he’s a little frustrated to still be voting on measures regarding Safe Outdoor Spaces. 

“We’ve had four different attempts to repeal it in different ways, and each time the mayor’s veto them, and each time the councilors who want to pull those back, have not been able to find the votes to do it. But they keep trying and I think this is what frustrates people so much,” said Davis. 

Plus, there are now two separate bills on the agenda trying to deal with the city’s free bus ride program. 

“One that tries to address security independently and one that tries to limit the number of people who can use the bus, and I think you’re going to hear a lot of debate and argument. And there’s a good chance that we’re going to continue that debate and bring that up at a future meeting,” Davis said. 

Davis said he’s going into the new year positive about the city council’s position right now.

“The good news is going into this year, the city has the tools in the toolbox to do some big things, including over $20 million in the bank for new permanent housing and other programs to do transitional housing,” he said. 

Davis said he hopes this year they can find more permanent housing solutions for the unhoused population. He says he knows this is a problem in many cities around the country, but we have to address the issue in the city we live in.