Hein­rich backs Keller in ABQ may­oral runoff

Albuquerque Journal - - METRO & NM - Martin Salazar Martin Salazar: msalazar@abqjour­nal.com

Al­bu­querque may­oral can­di­date Tim Keller has re­ceived an­other en­dorse­ment, this time from Sen. Martin Hein­rich, D-N.M.

“Tim has the right vi­sion for Al­bu­querque, but more im­por­tantly, he has the ex­pe­ri­ence to make his vi­sion a re­al­ity for our city,” Hein­rich said in a state­ment re­leased Thurs­day by the Keller cam­paign. Hein­rich is a for­mer Al­bu­querque city councilor.

“Tim’s vi­sion starts with en­sur­ing the safety of our city,” Hein­rich said. “Tim will put more po­lice of­fi­cers on the ground to help re­build our com­mu­nity.”

He also touted Keller’s vi­sion for cre­at­ing bet­ter, high­er­pay­ing jobs, and his plan to pro­vide be­fore- and af­ter­school pro­grams for stu­dents and pro­grams that cover win­ter and sum­mer breaks.

Keller, the cur­rent state au­di­tor, has re­ceived a num­ber of en­dorse­ments from in­di­vid­u­als and or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing the Al­bu­querque Po­lice Of­fi­cers As­so­ci­a­tion, the city fire­fight­ers union and the Amer­i­can Fed­er­a­tion of State, County and Mu­nic­i­pal Em­ploy­ees Coun­cil 18.

He will face City Councilor Dan Lewis in a runoff Nov. 14.

MIN­I­MUM WAGE:

We’ve al­ready re­ported that Ber­nalillo County com­mis­sion­ers voted Tues­day night to raise the min­i­mum wage in the un­in­cor­po­rated ar­eas of the county from $8.70 to $8.85, ef­fec­tive Jan. 1.

Com­mis­sion­ers didn’t have much to say be­fore vot­ing on the mat­ter, but Com­mis­sion Chair­woman Deb­bie O’Mal­ley is­sued a state­ment af­ter the vote.

“Ber­nalillo County fam­i­lies work hard and they de­serve a raise,” O’Mal­ley said. “I ac­knowl­edge this is far from a liv­ing wage, but this is a good start.”

BE­HAV­IORAL HEALTH:

At that same meet­ing, com­mis­sion­ers voted unan­i­mously to con­sol­i­date the Depart­ment of Ad­dic­tion Treat­ment Ser­vices into the Depart­ment of Be­hav­ioral Health Ser­vices. They also ap­proved 19 new full-time po­si­tions for the newly con­sol­i­dated depart­ment. The 19 po­si­tions will be funded from the be­hav­ioral health tax that went into ef­fect in July 2015 and through grants.

Ka­t­rina Hotrum, the county’s be­hav­ioral health di­rec­tor, said the cost of the new po­si­tions “will roughly be about 5 per­cent of the over­all bud­get, bring­ing us to no more than $1.5 mil­lion.”

“I think this is re­ally go­ing to al­low the pro­gram to take off,” said Com­mis­sioner Mag­gie Hart Steb­bins.

State Au­di­tor Tim Keller

Sen. Martin Hein­rich

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