Oct. 30 First News: Santa Fe City Council has busy agenda. (Listen)

Oct 30, 2013

  Much activity tonight at Santa Fe City Hall as City Council moves forward on a number of noteworthy items. There'll be further discussion of providing transportation to and from the Santa Fe Ski Basin as well as the establishment of a Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline for reporting misdeeds by city employees and officials.  The last portion of tonight's agenda will seek to codify the city charter amendments to be placed before voters in a special election that will occur in conjunction with Santa Fe's March 2014 municipal election. Proposed amendments address campaign contribution limits and an expansion of mayoral powers.

The armed robbery suspect at the center of a SWAT team action in Santa Fe on Tuesday managed to elude capture. The activity around noontime caused Santa Fe Public Schools to enforce a "shelter in place" order at Santa Fe High and Capshaw and DeVargas Middle Schools.  32 year old Robert Pacheco is the suspected perpetrator of an armed robbery at a Cerrillos Road restaurant back in September. He was seen entering a home on Calle Ensenada by detectives but is believed to have escaped before the area could be completely secured.

Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque will today conduct a first test of a well to pump out underground fuel contaminants from their decades-old jet fuel spill believed to be encroaching on Duke City drinking water supplies. Today's test will pump approximately 70,000 gallons of contaminated water to nearby mobile tanks. The water will then be filtered for treatment to drinking water standards and safely dispersed on Kirtland Air Force Base.  The test is expected to shed light on how the underlying aquifer responds to significant pumping and if such an effort might be the means of final remedy for clean-up.

New Mexico's two democratic senators are supporting legislation in Washington that would end the U-S government's dragnet collection of the phone records of ordinary citizens. Senators Udall and Heinrich say the move is to restore American's privacy rights by requiring greater oversight and accountability with respect to domestic surveillance authorities. The USA FREEDOM Act has the support of diverse groups ranging from the National Rifle Association to the American Civil Liberties Union. A companion bill in the House has more than 70 bipartisan cosponsors. 

Santa Fe County Commissioners Tuesday nominated Eldorado resident Ann Jenkins for the State House District 50 seat left vacant by the recent death of Representative Stephen Easley. Jenkins asked Commissioners for their support and assurance: *****Jenkins  :12*****  Jenkins, a Democrat, also has the support of Bernalillo County in the district that includes three other counties. Governor Martinez has the final say—her choice is expected by Friday.

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada has honored Santa Fe County with its “Distinguished Budget Award” for the County’s 2012 spending plan. County Commissioners announced the award Tuesday.  County Budget Administrator Carole Jaramillo Tuesday accepted the kudos and thanked Finance Department staffers for it:*****Jaramillo-Budget  :14***** This is the fifth consecutive year the county has been so honored by the Government Finance Association.

Weather for Santa Fe – mostly sunny today with a high in the low 50s and a 20% chance for showers. Partly cloudy tonight and cold, lows in the mid 20s along with a slight chance for snow showers. Sunny and cool Thursday with a high near 50.