Mar 31

AANNA February Newsletter

Academy Ares North Neighborhood Association Inc.
February 2014 Newsletter

► Saturday February 1st I attended the Mayor’s Neighborhood Associations Presidents Forum. The meeting is divided into three sessions; the first two sessions were with Department Directors of each City service and the last session with Mayor Berry. I will give you short summaries of the items discussed during the sessions.
● City finances are in good shape. The 60 million dollar deficit from four years ago has been retired.
Major city projects currently in progress are the Paseo I-25 Interchange, the Convention Center rehab,
transit projects, road resurfacing and bicycle lanes.
● The 311 App for I-phones is now also available for Android phones. It can be downloaded from the City’s website.
● Senate Bill 61 was introduced during the last NM Legislative session which would provide cities with laws
to deal with nuisance properties, abandoned or inoperable cars and copper theft. As of today I do not believe the bill was up for a vote at the end of the legislative session.

●The neighborhoods wanted to see “claw back” provisions for the incentive dollars and provisions given to
businesses who locate here and do not subsequently follow through with agreed plans and job creation.
●The City needs to find a way to deal with abandon commercial buildings.
●Not much can be done with boarded up housing if the taxes are paid and weeds and litter are controlled.
●When the Wright Amendment expires air traffic into Albuquerque’s Sunport will decrease by 14%. The City is
trying to attract new airlines to fill the void.
●Alan Armijo is now the City’s Constituent Liaison. If you are having difficulties resolving City issues call him in
the Mayor’s office at 768-3000. There are 250 neighborhoods in the City of Albuquerque.
●Park equipment and park safety issues can be solved by requesting Councilors to use their discretionary funds.
●Parks and Recreation are responsible for median maintenance. There is no budget for median maintenance?
●Councilors can initiate the process for needed City projects by sponsoring bond issues.
●The lead time required to create a new park is between six and seven years.
●Solid Waste will pick up for large items on normal trash days. Call 311 to schedule a pickup. Items should be at the curb early on normal trash days.
●The Transit Department has a budget of 42 million dollars. Rider fees pay for 12 to 15 percent of the budget. The City’s Transportation Tax pays for the rest.
●Transit has ordered forty new busses for the City.
●Water usage in the City was trending down at the rate of 2% per year. Last year’s usage went down 18% causing a revenue shortfall. Internal adjustments will be made at ABCWU before there is a rate increase.
●Most medians have drought tolerant plants and trees. Median watering is tapered off after the plants are established.
●The Police Department consists of uniformed officers, public safety officers, investigators (detectives) and
undercover officers. A modest force size for Albuquerque would be 1100 officers. The current force is 920.
●More effort is being made to recruit military personnel as they finish their enlistments.
●The fuel spill at Kirtland AFB is a major problem and the Department of Defense has taken ownership. The
Mayor has been to Washington to expedite a plan and find a resolution to protect our ground water..
●The PRC does not mediate or set water rates. Water rates are set by the ABCWUA.
●Albuquerque seems to need more driver education.
●Seventy percent of the City’s income is derived from sales taxes and County property taxes.
●The First Baptist Church site will become a “Center for Excellence” promoting skills in technology for jobs of the future.
●There needs to be a change in City labor contacts limiting the amount of accrued sick and vacation time
during employment to a reasonable number like 250 hours.
●Contracts made by a Mayor should be limited by the incumbent’s term. Elected Mayors should be freed from
the decisions of previous administrations. No one can predict future economic twists.
The Forum’s attendance was definitely larger than last year and it was good to see the return of familiar faces from neighborhoods across the City.
►I also attended the District 4 Coalition of Neighborhoods meeting last Wednesday the 19th. It was great to welcome back our Vice President Roberta Lipman after a long recuperation. She is our alternate representative at the D4C meetings.
Dodi Comacho, the new commander of the Northeast Command was the guest speaker. She stressed the increase in auto burglaries caused by valuables left in vehicles. Also it is important to take pictures of valuables such as jewelry for proof of ownership if the items are recovered.
There was a long discussion about a loop hole in the City Ordinances allowing AT&T to use a 60 ft PNM pole for the installation of cell antennas in a residential neighborhood. The pole is located in the sidewalk near the corner of Wyoming and Wilshire NE. There is exposed wiring at street level. Neighborhood opposition has brought this situation to Councilman Winter. He is working to resolve this issue.
Construction has begun on the first half of the park at the corner of Osuna and Vista Del Norte. The entire area will be used for a park with no commercial development. This was the site Walmart attempted to develop several years ago.
Brad Winter will use $400,000 of his discretionary funds to correct the defects in the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems at the North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center.
The Multigenerational Center will be closed for repairs to the sewer system and for spring cleaning. The actual dates have not been determined so check with NDBMGC at 764-6475.
►There was an incident near the corner of Avenida La Costa and Glendora on the 12th of February around noon. It involved an injured officer three police vehicles and two ambulances. I am trying to get the police report so I have accurate details. I will follow-up.
►Neighbors have reported a two hour wait for APD response to non emergency calls. With the current staffing of the Police Department this has been the norm.
►Channel 13 KRQE is showing interest in doing news stories spotlighting neighborhood issues. I have asked them to bring attention to the dangerous pedestrian crossing on Pan American over the Borealis Arroyo. We have also brought this situation to the attention of the City’s Municipal Development Department. We will see what happens.
►Thieves removed the copper wiring from the roof of the Office Depot at the corner of Paseo and San Pedro. This happened about two weeks ago at 6:00 AM.
►Our May Neighborhood Association meeting will be held on May 6, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM at the NDBMGC. The room has been reserved.
►Fred Aiken has taken on the position of Treasurer of our neighborhood Association. If you are interested in becoming a director of our neighborhood association don’t hesitate to call me at 821-0393.
That is all for now.
Jake Tellier