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District 3

District 3 Newsletter, Edition #18


In This Edition:

Message from the Commissioner
Contact Information
BernCo at Work
Things to Do
Interesting Reads


At the Tuesday, Aug. 11, Commission Meeting, I proposed an ordinance for the establishment of a Sheriff’s Office Advisory and Review Board. On a 3-2 vote (Commissioners O’Malley, Pyskoty and myself voted yes) the ordinance was moved into the 30-day public comment period and will return to the Commission for a final vote in September.

As proposed, the Advisory board would have nine members, 5 appointed by the commissioners and 4 elected from the pool of applicants. Their duties would include completing investigations of the Sheriff’s Office’s operational policies, practices, processes and procedures; holding public meetings to solicit public input regarding the Sheriff’s Office; determine whether an independent audit or review is required, and to make advisory recommendations to the Board of Commissioners and the Sheriff.

In light of recent actions by both national and local law enforcement agencies, I believe that now is time to establish a formal process and a forum where significant issues involving public safety may be fully and openly discussed. I understand and respect that the Sheriff is an elected, statutory officer under the New Mexico Constitution and that the County Commission has no oversight of that office. I also believe that having public representatives on an Advisory Board that hears from citizens, raises concerns and gives advice to the County Commission and the Sheriff’s Office about critical public safety issues will increase transparency, accountability and, hopefully, trust. The Sheriff may choose not to accept the advice, but there will be a permanent public record of citizen concerns.

Also, on a 3 to 2 vote, the Commission passed the proposed Community Workforce Agreement for public works construction projects over $5 million. The Community Workforce Agreement directs the County to enter into pre-hire collective bargaining agreements with labor organizations that establish the terms and conditions of employment. The County has long held the goals of improving labor/management relations, construction quality & efficiency and providing more workforce development opportunities and pre-apprenticeship training programs. This agreement has the potential to help the County achieve those objectives.

A final vote on the proposed ordinance and agreement will be held in September. Click here to read both.

I look forward to hearing what you think about both the Sheriff’s Office Advisory Board and the Community Workforce Agreement. Please send me your thoughts. To submit comments to all of the Commissioners, click here.

Take care, stay well, wash your hands frequently and ALWAYS wear a facemask when out in public – Jim Collie

Contact Information:

Important Telephone Numbers to Keep Handy

COVID19 hotline

Non-health related COVID19 hotline

For an updated one-stop source of COVID19 information, click here.

To see the past newsletters, please go to https://www.bernco.gov/District-3/district-3-newsletter.aspx
For the latest edition of the BernCo at a Glance, click here
To complete the 2020 Census: https://my2020census.gov/


County Commission

Casa de Sierra Apartments

The Commission unanimously approved a $14million Project Revenue Bond (PRB) for the rehabilitation of 188 units at the Casa de Sierra Apartment, 200 Valencia SE, 87108. This project will encourage the retention of affordable Senior Housing and Households with Disabilities available in Bernalillo County. The project supports re-development and sustainable, smart growth and continues the efforts of achieving the BernCo Strategic Plan Goal of Quality of Life by providing needed additional affordable housing for people of age 55 and over.

Legislative District 12 Vacancy

The Commission discussed the process for filling the House of Representatives District 12th vacated seat. Nominations from interested individuals will be accepted until Tuesday, September 1st, 5:00pm. Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to the Bernalillo County Manger’s Office, attn: Julie Morgas Baca, Suite 10111, 1 Civic Plaza NW, Albuquerque, 87102 or by e-mail to manager@bernco.gov. To quality, the applicants must be at least 21 years of age and live in District 12. The vote to fill the seat is scheduled for the Tuesday, September 8th, Commission Meeting.

To’hajiilee Water Pipeline

Commissioner O’Malley is working with representatives from the To’Hajiilee chapter, the city of Albuquerque, the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority and private land holders to build a 7.3 transmission line from the ABCWUA’s westernmost water tank. The County has delivered water by tanker trucks several times this summer and the Commission recently voted to allow the county to proceed with land condemnation, if necessary, to complete the water line. The well the residents of To’Hajiilee use has gone out of service 3 times in the past 5 years. The need for a reliable source of clean water is especially urgent during the COVID19 pandemic.

BernCo County Clerk’s Office

Bernalillo County Clerk Lina Stover announced important dates for the General Election:
Absentee Voting – ballot can be requested now;
September 14th – the Clerk’s Office will begin sending applications for an absentee ballot to registered voters in Bernalillo County;
October 6th – requested ballots will begin being mailed;
October 6th – in-person voting begins at the county annex;
October 17th - October 31st – early voting and same day registration will take place. Absentee ballots can be drop off at any polling site;
October 20th – last day to request an absentee ballot;

November 3rd – Election day. There will be 71 polling location open from 7:00am-7:00pm.

For more information, County Clerk’s Office, click here, or Secretary of State’s Office, click here, or call 234-VOTE, press option 1

Other important dates:
September 1st – National Poll Worker Recruitment Day
September 22nd – National Voter Registration day

BernCo Treasurer’s Office

The Bernalillo County Treasurer’s Office continues to serve you with LIVE customer service representatives at 505-468-7031 from 8-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. service includes: email at treasurers@bernco.gov; visit us online at click here, mail payments to PO Box 27800, Albuquerque, NM 87125 or take a drive to downtown to drop your payment (no cash, please) or correspondence at the secure dropbox located at the corner of Fifth and Marquette NW. The health and safety of our community remains our concern. Until all COVID-19 precautions are installed our physical office will remain closed to the public, following the Governor’s public health orders. 25% of staff are working a modified daily office schedule to process mail, letters, payments and drop box collections.

BernCo Department of Behavioral Health

The Department of Behavioral Health Services is accepting resumes from members of the community who wish to participate on subcommittees of the Behavioral Health Initiative. Subcommittee members serve a critical role in the development of regional behavioral health care systems in the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County metro area.

Subcommittees will prioritize how behavioral health funding is spent in four areas: crisis services, prevention, intervention and harm reduction, supportive housing and community supports.

Individuals, who live in Bernalillo County and want to apply to serve on one of the committees, must be free from conflict of interest such as employment or board members of entities receiving or planning to apply for behavioral health initiative funds.

Candidates must submit a cover letter and resume to BHInitiative@bernco.gov no later than September 2, 2020 at 5 p.m.

For more information about the department and the Behavioral Health Initiative, please visit www.bernco.gov/dbhs.

BernCo Cooperative Extension Office

Interest in gardening has increased during the COVID19 pandemic as people have more time at home. To provide information, answer question and help people achieve gardening success, the Bernalillo County Extension is offering twice-monthly free webinars beginning September 2nd, 3:00pm. Each session will feature a different gardening subject with presentation by different Extension horticultural agents and state specialists. Q&A will follow each presentation. The first webinars will begin on:

September 2, 3 pm – Planting the Fall Vegetable Garden

September 2, 6 pm – Your Health in the Garden

September 3, 10 am – Fruit Leather and Drying Chile

To register for any of these classes and for more information, visit https://bernalilloextension.nmsu.edu, e-mail the extension agent, desertblooms@nmsu.edu or call John Garlish, 1-505-243-1386.

Tiny Home Village Update

Bernalillo County’s Tiny Home Village is on its way to completion due to the efforts of Carpenters Local Union 1319. More than 110 members of the union volunteered more than 1,400 hours over six weekends to complete the construction of 30 tiny homes located adjacent to the Albuquerque Indian Center, 105 Texas St. SE.

The union worked during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and leveraged their contractor connections to assist with the project. It’s estimated the Carpenters Local Union 1319, though its volunteer work, saved $125,000 in project cost.

The Tiny Home Village will consist of 30 individual 120 sq. ft. homes and a centrally located common building that includes the kitchen, dining, living area and bathrooms. Each tiny home will have a bed, desk and storage space as well as electricity.

The Tiny Home Village transitional housing project creates a shared-living environment in which residents who have been experiencing homelessness enter the village to begin living again in a home of their own within a safe and secure community.

The project is scheduled for completion and occupancy by year’s end.

More info about the Tiny Home Village project can be found at www.BernCo.gov/TinyHomeVillage.

Video of event with the Carpenters Union can be found at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7qjt7y0icu0rimh/AABMQV-r9v7j50t5rgbBsMSfa?dl=0


Harwood Museum

Friday, August 28, 7 pm, the Harwood Museum will honor Santeras with an Online Seminar.

New Mexico possesses a unique history of devotional art creation within the United States. Beginning with the early Spanish settlers, the production of saints was a necessity to practice religious beliefs. Between 1920 and 1930, the creators of saints became known as “santeros”. Although there is little proof that women took part in the early creation of saints, that changed in the early 1900s and female carvers continue to create and share their art with the world.

Click here to participate in the seminar

Burning of Zozobra

Friday, September 4th, this year the Annual Burning of Zozobra will be entirely virtual. For more information, click here.

Bernalillo County Parks & Recreation Department is hosting a Burning of Zozobra Watch Party Drive-In style at the Isleta Amphitheater, 56-1 University Blvd. SE. Gates will open at 5:30pm; no admission is permitted after 7:30pm. There will be live entertainment from 6:00-8:00pm and food truck on site. Starting at 8:00pm, BernCo will simulcast the live broadcast of the Burning of Zozobra on its new, larger inflatable screen.

Admission is $2.00 per car. The ticket sales will benefit the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe and the BernCo Quality of Life Fund. Facemask will be required and social distancing will be practiced. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here

Vacation in New Mexico

For the best Staycations in New Mexico, click here.
Plan your Albuquerque Staycation by clicking here.
Don’t forget to take your best friend, from Fido Friendly.
Ghost Ranch is offering special tours and programs for New Mexico residents. Click on Ghost Ranch Staycations for more information and reservations.

The National Hispanic Cultural Center

The NHCC is turning 20 years old and is celebrating all year. Visit them online, click here, to join the celebration.


Lest We Forget – Voting is a Right & a Responsibility

How mail-in voting began on Civil War Battlefields -- The 1860s paved the way for remote voting in the U.S., a process that faces renewed controversy during the coronavirus pandemic, from National Geographic

Happy 100th Birthday to the 19th Amendment, from the Washington Post

More interesting information regarding the Pandemic—

Italy Used "Wine Windows" During The Plague And Now They Are Open Again, from BuzzFeed click here.

Are you still skeptical about facemasks? Click here to find out why they work.

Even more reasons to wear a facemask, from Route 50 Today.

The Workforce Is About to Change Dramatically, from The Atlantic

What Dr. Fauci says the U.S. really needs to reopen safely, from National Geographic

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