ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – It took years of work to develop a plan to reorganize the city ââneighborhood associations. However, the city council rejected those plans this week. Neighborhood associations hold a lot of power behind city decisions, from stadiums being built in your community to safety improvements. Now a plan to add more structure to the way they are performed is pending.
“Interim guidelines which temporarily restricted the formation of new neighborhood associations whose proposed boundaries would conflict with existing associations were put in place and are still in place,” an adviser said at the council meeting. âTo be recognized, a new neighborhood association or a new neighborhood coalition must allow any resident or business to become a member.
The order would have also limited the limits of neighborhood associations and not forcing people to pay dues. After studies and years of community participation, the council adopted the ordinance on the recognition of neighborhood associations on Monday, but existing associations overwhelmingly demanded the postponement of the vote. They cited everything from money to necessary changes to the wording of the ordinance.
Some even said that their contribution at community meetings was not taken into account. âWhere will the funds come from so that we can communicate effectively with 3,000 households,â asked a community member. “How are we going to maintain the contact lists.”
âLooks like you cancel that numbered section and then resurrect it,â another said. “We have so many concerns that have been raised about the provisions in it and then so many amendments that have been proposed.”
Even with the hindsight of the associations, the city council agreed to proceed and consider any amendment to improve the ordinance. However, although councilors approved all 13 amendments, when it came to postponing the final vote or passing it as amended, a majority of councilors rejected it.
âIf the votes aren’t there they aren’t, but a tremendous amount of work has gone into that,â Councilor Ike Benton said. âIf that doesn’t happen tonight, my apologies to everyone who worked so hard on it. “
Ultimately, only Councilors Benton, Davis, Gibson and Jones voted to approve the new ordinance. For now, it’s back to the drawing board.
Councilor Benton says that while he is not yet ready to discuss next steps, “there has been too much work in this effort to give up now.” No future date has been given for the ordinance on neighborhood associations to be visited by the city council.