Transition center proposed for ex-inmates
Inmates discharged from the Bernalillo County jail may find a friendly landing spot soon.
The County Commission this week will consider authorizing $300,000 in renovations and about $1 million a year to operate a Transition Planning and Re-Entry Resource Center in Downtown Albuquerque.
The goal is to ensure that people struggling with addiction or mental illness — and perhaps without a home to go to — aren’t released into the community without any help.
Transition planners would work out of the county jail on the West Side, but there would also be staff at a Re-Entry Resource Center at 401 Roma NW, where inmates could go upon discharge from the jail.
Staff at the center would help former inmates find community services to make the transition easier.
The funding would come from the new behavioral-health tax adopted by county commissioners in 2015.
County Commission chair
Bernalillo County commissioners will pick a new chairperson this week.
The previous chairman, Democrat Art De La Cruz, left the commission at the end of the year, and Tuesday’s meeting will be the first for his successor, Steven Michael Quezada, also a Democrat.
The commission usually picks someone from the majority party — Democrats in this case — and someone who’s served awhile already to preside over the meetings.
If that trend holds, the next chairperson will be either Maggie Hart Stebbins or Debbie O’Malley.
The other two members of the County Commission are Republicans Wayne Johnson and Lonnie Talbert.
New plan for Candelaria Farm
The operation of Candelaria Farm — a popular spot for sandhill cranes and Canada geese — is getting some City Council attention.
Without opposition, councilors adopted a resolution last week calling for the development of a new resource management plan for the farm, which lies just north of the Rio Grande Nature Center.
The 97-acre patch of open space is now used, in part, to grow crops for dairy cows, but the public can watch the birds there from the viewing area at the nature center.
Council President Isaac Benton, who sponsored the bill, said federal funds helped the city acquire the property, but the city never followed up to develop a proper plan governing how the land must be used, he said.