Petitioners said that Davis needs to go because he has failed to oppose Mayor Richard Berry's proposed $100 million dollar bus rapid transit line down Central Avenue
Albuquerque city councilor Patrick Davis has been in office a mere 45 days and already somebody wants to get rid of him.
A Nob Hill business owner and seven others started the process to recall Davis, a freshman councilor who represents District 6, by filing a recall petition against Davis on Jan. 8 with the City Clerk’s office. The petitioners said that Davis needs to go because he has failed to oppose Mayor Richard Berry’s proposed $100 million dollar bus rapid transit line down Central Avenue.
“We have asked repeatedly for representation from City Councilor Pat Davis, District 6, to fight against the plan destined to destroy RT66,” the petition says. “This plan is known as the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART). We do not consent to City Councilor Pat Davis’ lack of representation on fighting ART, his lack of protecting RT66 and his support of the unanticipated, unbudgeted, and unsubstantiated tax increases. This amounts to taxation without representation.
“We petition to recall Councilor Pat Davis for not consulting with his constituents and for his lack of ability to represent, in violation of his oath of office: the individuals of District 6, the businesses of District 6, the neighborhoods of District 6.”
The lead signature on the petition was from Stephen Schroeder, owner of the Nob Hill Music store on Central Avenue in Nob Hill. Schroeder wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Davis told ABQ Free Press that he thought the effort to remove him was “a little premature” because the federal government has yet to approve the project, which would involve $80 million in federal and $20 million of city money.
“I see my role as being an honest broker between the people who have honest concerns and connecting them with the people [who are planning] the project,” Davis said. “If the federal government approves the proposal next month then I will have a chance to vote at the council to see if they have done an adequate job.”
Berry’s BRT proposal would basically shut down two lanes of auto traffic in each direction along a 10-mile strip of Central between Louisiana and Atricso Boulevards and dedicate those lanes to the rapid transit buses. Many business owners along the route have complained that limiting vehicular traffic on Central would kill their businesses. They’ve also said the proposal would make it nearly impossible for motorists to make left hand turns off Central onto side streets.
Berry has claimed that the project would help revitalize Central and bring new investment into the area.
Opponents of Berry’s plan say the city already has rapid transit along Central in the form of the Rapid Ride buses. Central also has regular bus service, opponents say.
Davis said the recall petition would have to go to a District Court judge who would have to rule if it indeed articulates legal grounds for removal. If a judge decides it does, then Schroeder and the others would have to get about 1,500 petition signatures from registered voters in the district to put the matter on the ballot.
Davis won a three-way election for the seat in October. He got 2,894 votes, or 67.4 percent of all votes cast.