Questions Arise Over Legality and Transparency at Local Air Board Meeting

The following was shared with us by  Nicholas R. Maxwell who has been closely following the seemingly unlawful actions of the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board which was disbanded in its current form by a veto-override of City Council. 

The special meeting of the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board held today has raised significant legal and transparency concerns. The meeting, which was briefly opened to the public for around three minutes before moving to an executive session, currently ongoing, was attended by only five of its seven members, with Members Lewis and Galewsky absent. The public opening of the meeting is accessible at https://youtu.be/0bXkIB6UqRM.

This meeting comes amid the implementation of a new ordinance that has reorganized the City’s appointments to the Board. With the ordinance now in effect, there are serious questions regarding the legality of the Board’s quorum and the validity of its proceedings.

Mr. Nicholas R. Maxwell, a citizen advocate for open government, has been outspoken about the Board’s actions. “Transparency isn’t just a word to throw around in meetings; it’s a commitment to the community we serve. When boards operate in shadows, democracy suffers,” Maxwell stated, emphasizing the potential violations of the Open Meetings Act (OMA) of New Mexico. His concerns center around late amendments to the agenda and insufficient public notice for the continuation of the HEEI hearing. Specific to the special meeting, the post-deadline inclusion of the agenda item ‘Request to ratify the Chair’s decision to authorize the Board Attorney to pursue litigation’ has drawn significant scrutiny.

The following video highlights the Board’s activity.

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