City, council debate mayoral hirings

Posted at: 05/06/2013 10:51 PM
Updated at: 05/06/2013 10:53 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Should the Albuquerque City Council have the final say on the next police and fire chiefs?

Historically, the mayor makes all decisions about the hiring of the chiefs, but a city councilor has introduced a bill that gives the council the power to approve his picks.

The debate is timely because Police Chief Ray Schultz retires this summer and Fire Chief James Breen is eligible for retirement - although he has not made any announcments.

The change would call for a charter amendment - that's something that only voters can approve.

The city council's vote only means it would send the issue to voters.

Albuquerque's mayor Berry says he is opposed.

"It overly politicizes the process in my opinion and keeps us from getting the best and brightest applicants," Berry said.

City councilors plan on taking the vote later this month.