ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Mayor Tim Keller tackles our questions on a number of issues ranging from crime to a possible soccer stadium for the United.
It was a 30-minute one-on-one interview where the mayor admitted wanting repeat criminals locked up longer, and addressed the controversy surrounding the upcoming multi-million dollar homeless shelter.
The complaints are not surprising to Mayor Keller as the city is still trying to figure out where to place the voter-approved homeless shelter. “That’s totally fair and that’s just part of having to run a big city,” says Mayor Keller.
KRQE News 13 asked if he would like to have the shelter in his country club neighborhood. “I, of course, would be because it’s my idea, but it’s something I know we have to find an available piece of land and it’s also got to be near services,” he says.
It was a main topic during a one-on-one interview with the mayor. When it came to crime and the revolving door of repeat criminals, we asked if he thinks sentences are too light and how long he believes repeat criminals should stay locked up.
“All of the sentencing questions are really, they’re state issues. Our state legislature will be looking at them in the session. I hope they can make some good decisions on that,” says Keller.
It wasn’t all about the city’s most controversial topics, today. Keller says the city has plans on continuing to make traffic less of a headache during Balloon Fiesta.
He also has ideas for bringing up the city’s self-esteem and building excitement, which includes the proposed soccer stadium for the United team. It’s still unclear where it would go.
“In some ways, like the homeless shelter or the Gateway Center, there’s a question of which neighborhood and where is there land? Some neighborhoods want it and some don’t,” he says.
While there are no definitive plans for that stadium just yet, he’s hoping to start the planning process this year. “It’s going to take years to do that, so there’s a long road on this one,” says Keller.
Another big topic was the ART project. Keller says the logical next move is to expand it to Coors and the Sunport much later down the road. For now, he’s keeping his focus along Central.
We also asked the mayor if there are any plans to build another river crossing. He says nothing is in the works for that right now.