Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mayor-elect Berry on the job before sunrise

On a chilly Fall day, Mayor-elect Richard "RJ" Berry was pounding the pavement -- busy introducing himself to city employees -- during a whirlwind tour around Albuquerque.

The tour began just after 5:45am at the Solid Waste Department.

After telling sanitation drivers, many who are members of AFSCME Local 624, that he would work hard for them, Berry listened to driver's ideas for improving customer service.

One union member told Berry that he wanted to go back to shifts that start at 4am or 5am at the latest. He told Berry, who will be sworn in on December 1st, that he believes getting started early helps drivers avoid the morning traffic rush and prevents accidents.

Berry told the worker he hoped he'd share his ideas with his transition team.

Accompanied by four members of his transition team, Chief Administrative Officer appointee David Campbell, Sherman McCorkle, Public Safety Director appointee Darren White, and Sara Lister, Berry also visited Fire Station 15.

He told firefighting crews, who had brewed a fresh pot of coffee for the team, he was reviewing the city's budget and anticipated some tough financial scenarios, but that he assured them they would have the resources they need to perform their jobs.

Next, the tour headed to the Albuquerque Police Department's Northeast Command Station.

Before addressing police officers, who were there for briefing, patrolman Kyle Curtis was recognized as officer of the month. Not a bad light for the next mayor and his public safety director to see you in for the first time.

Later Berry headed to a breakfast at Weck's with law enforcement officers.

The morning also included a tour to an economic development office in the Barelas neighborhood in Albuquerque's South Valley -- before ending up for a transition briefing back downtown.

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