Over the weekend, New Mexico Political Report’s senior reporter Joey Peters hit the small screen to discuss several local and regional issues.
Peters appeared as a panelist on New Mexico in Focus, a local public affairs program that airs weekly on New Mexico PBS. He joined host Gene Grant, Albuquerque attorney Laura Sanchez-Rivet, Albuquerque Free Press associate editor Dennis Domrzalski and Vox Optima founder Merritt Allen to talk about several burning issues in New Mexico.
The program kicked off with a discussion of the controversial Santolina planned community. The Bernalillo County Commission voted to authorize the Santolina master plan last week.
View the Santolina segment below:
Next, the panelists broke down the many issues surrounding the City of Albuquerque’s contract with attorney Scott Greenwood, who was hired last year to be the city’s chief negotiator with the Department of Justice on police reform.
Last week, the council postponed granting more public money to Greenwood’s ballooning contract amid questions about his spending habits and undisclosed relationship with TASER International, a stun gun company that the city recently came under fire for granting no-bid contracts to and possibly violating state and city laws in the process.
After this segment aired, the city council voted Monday to give Greenwood an extra $530,000, bringing his contract to $750,000. Watch it below:
Panelists also talked about calls from environmentalists and Attorney General Hector Balderas for the New Mexico Supreme Court to review copper rule, which regulates how copper is mined in the state. While proponents of the rule say it’s a compromise, opponents argue that it violates the state’s clean water laws.
Watch the discussion below (and for good background on the subject, read reporter Laura Paskus’ 2013 investigation for the Santa Fe Reporter on how the copper rule became so controversial).
Finally, the panelists end with a talk about the city’s plans to build a high-speed dedicated bus lane along 10 miles of Albuquerque’s Central Avenue.
Watch panelists discuss mass transit plans for Albuquerque below:
Oh, and what would the program be without a discussion of Rachel Dolezal, the former Spokane NAACP chapter president who’s story of transforming herself from a white woman to a black woman went viral earlier this month?
Panelists took a stab at understanding the Dolezal phenomenon during the Web Extra segment. Watch below: