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Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada Rebuffs City Council’s Vote Against Adding Albuquerque Public School District to Intergovernmental Commission

11/21/2018

The Albuquerque City Council, at its Nov. 19 council meeting, voted 2-7 against adding the Albuquerque Public School District to the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Commission.

Bernalillo County Commission Chair Steven Michael Quezada would like the council to reconsider that action.

Bernalillo County commissioners voted unanimously in favor of adding APS to the intergovernmental agreement at its Nov. 13 County Commission meeting. County Commissioner Quezada, a former APS board member, sponsored the amendment and is very disappointed and disheartened that the City Council voted against it.

“This could have been the beginning of a much needed collaboration and partnership between Bernalillo County, City of Albuquerque and APS to finally be at the same table to discuss and address the many needs throughout the city and county,” states Bernalillo County Commission Chair Steven Michael Quezada.

“When elected officials run for office, at any level, they always run with the mindful intention to also help public education. This would have been a great opportunity to bring the three biggest regional entities together to work on those issues pressing on our community.”

Commissioner Quezada believes that the reasons city councilors gave for not supporting the agreement are the very reasons that they should support it, to include:

• Best use and access to APS facilities and the possible collaborative expansion to city/county community centers for after school programming, head start, etc.

• Transportation - APS owns its own busses. This is another form of collaboration that could be discussed on all types of transportation that include Sun Tran, APS busses, and the Rail Runner.

• Economic Development - APS provides a large number of jobs, such as construction and employment.

• Lack of communication between agencies - this would have allowed an open forum of communication to finally begin.

“The Albuquerque/ Bernalillo County Government Commission looks at a wide range of topics, from health initiatives, education, programming, homelessness, infrastructure, economic development, public safety, transportation, and sports,” adds Commissioner Quezada. “There really is no limit to any topic for discussion for this regional advisory board.”

Commissioner Quezada served on the Albuquerque Public School Board for four years before being elected to the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners.

Since 1999, the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Commission has worked to promote coordination and cooperation between the city and county.

The proposed intergovernmental amendment would formalize the inclusion of APS by adding two school board members to the Albuquerque/ Bernalillo County Government Commission.

All three entities, the city, county and APS, would have to approve the amendment before it’s effective. APS is scheduled to vote on the proposal at its Dec. 5 meeting.

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