Blog Index
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February 14, 2018, Bernco District 1 News, Local Business on Westside to Expand
Vitality Works plans to expand its manufacturing plant and administrative facilities located at 8500 Bluewater Rd. NW.  "This Expansion is to accomodate growth of exisiting and new market opportunities, says County Commissioner Debbie O'Malley."
February 10, 2018, Albuquerque Journal, Guest Article, Treat crisis services as a priority issue

For people living with mental illness and/or substance use disorders, prompt access to treatment during a behavioral health crisis can determine whether a person gets the care he or she needs – or gets arrested and taken to jail. And in extreme cases, access to crisis services can literally mean the difference between life and death. As local government leaders, we are united in strong support of Senate Bill 220 – legislation sponsored by Sen. Mary Kay Papen that will help us provide the crisis services our residents need.

December 21, 2017, Albuqurque Journal, Edith Trash Station ‘not going to happen’“This is for the good of the community,” O’Malley said. “From the very beginning, it was really about fairness. This was an ill-conceived project that was very unfair to this area. I’m glad it’s over.”

October 9, 2017, Albuquerque Journal, Bernalillo County leaders to consider minimum wage increaseALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Workers in unincorporated Bernalillo County who earn minimum wage would receive a few extra dollars in their paychecks come Jan. 1 under a proposal slated to be voted on by Bernalillo County commissioners tonight.

The measure calls for a 15-cent cost of living increase. If approved, the county’s minimum wage would go from $8.70 to $8.85 an hour beginning Jan. 1.

For a full-time worker, the raise would amount to an extra $312 a year.

September 6, 2017,, Bernalillo County to sue drug companies over opiod addiction
Bernalillo County is heavily impacted by the opioid crisis, and it’s devastating our community," Commission Chair Debbie O’Malley said. "We’ve seen an increase in opioid-related crime, which in turn drives up the cost of public safety. It’s time to hold the drug companies accountable."

January 19, 2017, KRQE. com  “These people are sleeping on the street, they’re sleeping in parks. You know, that’s just not right, and the community’s concerned about it and I think that’s why they’re excited about this idea,” O’Malley said.

Last November, voters approved the bond to fund the development of the village.

January 17, 2017,  Bernalillo County discusses building ‘tiny homes’ for homeless
If all goes as planned, Albuquerque could soon be filled with tiny homes, and for a good cause.
Bernalillo County held its first community meeting Thursday night to discuss plans for the $2 million project.
The village would provide stable housing in the form of “tiny homes” to the homeless in hopes of ultimately helping them get back on their feet.
County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley says the idea resonates with people.

May 18, 2015, Community celebrates opening of new North Valley clinic
City and county officials speaking at the recent opening of the new UNM Hospitals North Valley Center for Family and Community Health hailed the clinic as a much needed addition to the area. 
“This is the first new building in the Fourth Street corridor in years, and we are all very hopeful it is the start of other public-private enterprises to come,” Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O'Malley told a crowd at the opening.

April 13, 2015, Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board, Editorial: Get data, not drama, from Santolina ‘outreach’
On Tuesday, Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley will introduce a resolution to have everyone step back from a huge proposed development and take a deep breath and 90 days to “ensure that the Santolina master plan accurately reflects the community’s vision for long-term growth and development.”

April 11, 2015, Albuquerque Journal, Commissioner wants 90-day hold on Santolina decision
Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley on Tuesday will propose postponing any decision on the Santolina development for 90 days, saying there are still many unanswered questions about the plan, and its potential impact on the city and its residents.

April 10, 2015, KOB-TV 4, BernCo. Commissioner to introduce measure delaying decision on Santolina for more public input
In a news release, O'Malley said water needs and the development's size had been brought up by the community as concerns about the project.

March 27, 2015, $4.7 million Little League park to open
“This is going to be a permanent home for the North Valley Little League, and this is something they have been working on for many years,” said Commissioner Debbie O’Malley. “This is just a beautiful facility. It’s going to mean a lot, and it does mean a lot to the people, the children and their families here,” she said.

March 1, 2015 ABQ The Magazine, The Interview: This Bernalillo County commissioner makes it her mission to make government more accountable and responsive to ABQ residents.

December 30, 2014, Flickr, Commissioner Debbie O'Malley - Swearing-in Ceremony

Monday, October 27, 2014, Albuquerque Journal, Journal Recommends Debbie O'Malley
Commission Chairwoman Debbie O’Malley has a depth and breadth of local government experience.

October 1, 2014, Albuquerque JournalNewest ABQ park, also a landing site dedicated
It took years for this day to come and now the timing couldn’t be more perfect,” O’Malley said in a news release. “Working with the Vista del Norte Alliance of Neighborhoods and the Alameda North Valley Association in preserving this open space is as important to me today as it was when we started the project back in 2008.”

Saturday, October 25, 2014, Albuquerque Journal Watch, Journal Editorial Alleging ‘Political Shenanigans’ Displays Partisanship of Its Own
Not only was this editorial position a 180-degree turnaround from its position three years ago, but the Journal came at Democrats with barrels blazing

Friday, October 24, 2014, Joe Monahan, "Tax Vote"
More push back for our "no" vote on the advisory questions on the Bernalillo County ballot. One proposes decriminalizing marijuana and another calls for a property tax increase to finance mental health programs. BernCo Dem Commissioner Debbie O'Malley writes:

I consider you to be very conscientious, however, I disagree with your assessment of the County advisory questions. The County advisory questions before the voters this November are reflective of relevant public issues and concerns that affect the day to day lives of the people in Bernalillo County. These questions don’t just ask a few people their opinion, but all people and in the most public way possible, an election.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014,
Albuquerque Journal, Q&A and profiles of Bernalillo County Commission District 1 candidates
Questions to Bernalillo County Commission District 1 candidates Simon A. Kubiak and M. Debbie O’Malley

Wednesday, October 8, 2014,
Albuquerque Journal, O’Malley, Kubiak disagree on taxes
Simon Kubiak expects to lose – and lose big – when Bernalillo County voters head to the polls next month. Kubiak, a Republican, is running against incumbent Debbie O’Malley for a seat on the County Commission, a rematch from their 2012 contest, when O’Malley won handily. “I have a very, very strong feeling the numbers are going to come in 60/40 (percent) with me on the losing end,” Kubiak said in a recent interview.

O’Malley, a Democrat, isn’t taking anything for granted. “When I’m running,” she said, “I run a serious campaign. … I never assume anything.”

Wednesday, October 1, 2014,
Albuquerque Journal, Bernalillo County Commission, District 1 (D) — M. Debbie O’Malley (i)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014,
Albuquerque Journal, Bernalillo County moves forward with incentive packages
Bernalillo County commissioners agreed this evening to move forward with three incentive packages for companies that could create 185 new jobs.

September 23, 2014, Albuquerque Journal, Supreme Court puts pot questions back on ballot
The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Friday that Secretary of State Dianna Duran overstepped her authority when she refused to allow Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties to put advisory questions on the Nov. 4 ballot.

September 16, 2014, Albuquerque Business Weekly, "Bernalillo County taking legal action against Secretary of State"
In a news release, County Commission Chair Debbie O’Malley said the Secretary of State does not have the authority to block the questions from appearing on the ballot. “The Secretary of State’s Office simply does not have the legal authority to micromanage local affairs and interfere in the day-to-day operations of a duly-elected local government,” she said.

September 10, 2014, ABQ Journal Op-ed, "Speak Up On Mental Health, Drug Treatment" by Debbie O'Malley, County Commission Chair

I look forward to starting a real and honest conversation with Bernalillo County families on the mental health and drug treatment crisis facing our community. This discussion is long overdue.

September 9, 2014, KOB-4, "Political sparring begins following BernCo. Commission ballot questions decision"
We believe that these issues we put on have county-wide significance," said County Commission chairwoman Debbie O'Malley, a Democrat. "That's why we made this decision. These are critical issues. These are the conversations that are happening now that we are in a crisis situation."

September 7, 2014,
Albuquerque Journal, "ABQ Journal: Bernalillo County to discuss adding two ballot measures for Nov."
County commissioners will debate today whether to ask voters two questions on the ballot on Election Day: Should small amounts of marijuana be decriminalized? And should the county impose a new gross receipts tax to fund mental health services?

Democratic county commissioners and state lawmakers and other community leaders gathered outside the Bernalillo County Youth Services Center on Sunday in support of the advisory questions. With information about how their constituents feel about the issues, policymakers will be better guided, said Debbie O’Malley, the chairwoman of the Bernalillo County Commission.

“We’re in a crisis,” O’Malley said. “The lack of resources for effective services for those with behavioral and mental health problems affect the safety and welfare of all the children and families in our community.”

September 7, 2014, KOB-4, "BernCo. Commissioners to discuss two major topics in special meeting"
Hart Stebbins and O'Malley say without resources to help the mentally ill in our community the problem will continue to be a strain on our law enforcement, our jails, and our courts.

"Do we as a community want to take a certain amount of responsibility and do we as a government want to take the responsibility and collectively pool our resources together to deal with this crisis," asked O'Malley.

September 7, 2014, Weekly Alibi: County Commission Offers Alternative to Berry's Tender Mercies
But on Friday, Sept. 5, the Bernalillo County Commission issued a press release calling for voter input on the tax increase and marijuana penalty reduction initiatives that Berry nixed. In the release Commission Chair Debbie O’Malley said, “It’s critical that we hear directly from the people about how to move forward on these two issues that have such a major impact on our community. We need to look for ways to divert people with serious mental illness out of jail and into treatment instead. This issue impacts all of us and Bernalillo County residents are ready to talk about solutions.”

September 5, 2014, Bernalillo County New Release,
"Commissioners Debbie O’Malley, Maggie Hart Stebbins Seek Voter Input on Mental Health Services, Marijuana Penalties"

August 15, 2014, Albuquerque Journal Editorial, County right to wade in support  of new otter exibit
So the Bernalillo County Commission did the right thing in placing Commission Chairwoman Debbie O’Malley’s proposal on the November ballot to use $2 million in bonding capacity to help fund a new otter exhibit at the aquarium. The city has already paid for the design and the BioPark Society plans to ask the state to pick up the balance of the $2.5 million tab. 

August 14, 2014, Albuquerque Business First, Capital improvement plan approved for ballot
The Bernalillo County Commission has approved a $27.57 million capital improvement proposal covering road improvements, upgrade libraries and create a new river otter exhibit at the ABQ BioPark. “These projects are a great investment in our community and will help strengthen our local economy,” Commission Chair Debbie O’Malley said in a statement.

July 11, 2014, The Morning Dallas News, New Mexico community opens adaptive playground for kids with disabilities [VIDEO]
Bernalillo County in New Mexico recently opened a new playground that is fully adapted to children with disabilities, local station KOB4 reports.
La Ladera Inclusive Playground integrated sensory-friendly equipment including bongos, bells, chimes, mirrors, mazes and kaledoscope prisms, which help children with autism and other sensory processing disorders. The playground caters to children with physical disabilities as well with a variety of adapted swings and spinning equipment, according to the station.
The park cost the county $180,000. 

July 1, 2014, Albuquerque Business First, North 4th Street site picked for development
The city of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County are joining funding forces to develop a 4.3-acre site at 3525 Fourth Street NW, near Candelaria Road. The property would be a mix of workforce housing and commercial development.

County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley told Business First that a plan to acquire the site has been in work for a few years and is now coming to fruition.

June 16, 2014, Albuquerque Business First, Water Authority demands that KAFB clean jet fuel spill now
“We want the U.S. Air Force and Kirtland Air Force Base to act now,” said Water Authority Board Member and Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley. “No more delays, no more conceptual plans that turn out to be unacceptable. The burden of remediation is theirs, and it is their financial, ethical, legal and moral duty to make sure our community’s drinking water is safe. We will not accept anything less.”

March 24, 2014, Albuquerque Business First, O’Malley wants BernCo to renegotiate UNMH lease
The contract/lease calls on the county to collect $90 million a year in property taxes for UNMH’s operations, and O’Malley said she wants more information on how that money is spent.
“We have had some concerns about the accountability when it comes to the money we collect on behalf of the taxpayers,” O’Malley said. “Some of the answers we have gotten have not been satisfactory.”

March 24, 2014, Albuquerque Journal, County, UNMH to negotiate lease
O’Malley said she wants UNMH to better account for the way it uses the money and to provide assurances that it will meet the needs of all low-income county residents.

April 21, 2014, Albuquerque Journal, Bernalillo County secures top credit ratings
Bernalillo County’s investments haven’t produced much good news over the last six months. But that changed this week, when the county learned it will keep its top credit ratings, following a rather painful restructuring of its investment portfolio. The news comes after County Commission Chairwoman Debbie O’Malley, County Manager Tom Zdunek and Deputy County Manager of Finance Teresa Byrd meet with the bond-rating agencies in Dallas last week.

April 17, 2014, Albuquerque Journal, Judged by its cover: Top prize in Little Free Library design contest
Unlike public libraries that lend books for a certain time period, Little Free Libraries are stocked with books at the beginning, but then operate on a take-one/leave-one honor system.
“We decided to create little libraries in the county because we recognize the connection between literacy and overall community health,” County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley said. Bernadette Miera, the county’s cultural services manager, said the top five designs will be built by the county and one will be placed in each county commissioner’s district.

February 11, 2014, Albuquerque Journal, Bernalillo County hires investment adviser
Bernalillo County has a new investment adviser on board to help decide how to restructure the county’s investment portfolio.
“I am pleased that the treasurer was part of the process to select an investment advisor,” Commission Chairwoman Debbie O’Malley said in a news release. “I’m looking forward to working with him and the administration’s finance team to restructure the investment portfolio in the best interest of all Bernalillo County residents.”

February 3, 2014, Albuquerque Business First, Bernalillo County unveils new solar site
Bernalillo County has installed solar panels at the Metropolitan Detention Center designed to produce up to 20 percent of the facility’s power.
The program involves a solar power purchase agreement between Bernalillo County and SunEdison which required no up-front costs to the county, according to a news release issued by the county. SunEdison developed the project, arranged financing and will provide management of the program. Bernalillo County will buy the energy the panels produce.
“This renewable energy project will stabilize rates and reduce electrical costs for the power required at the jail over the long term,” said County Commission Chair Debbie O’Malley in a statement. “This system will generate enough electricity to cover roughly 20 percent of the power needed for the jail.”

December 10, 2013, Albuquerque Business First, Meeting held to promote agriculture
“Local food is a critical piece of the community’s economy, tradition and employment,” said Bernalillo County Commission Vice Chair Debbie O’Malley. “In counties across America, local food and farming is becoming a growing sector vital to small business, tourism and community health.”

September 12, 2013, Albuquerque Business First,Transit center for N. Valley bus, Rail Runner service breaks ground
The new hub is designed to serve both ABQ RIDE and New Mexico Rail Runner Express customers, primarily in Albuquerque’s North Valley and Montaño/Montgomery river-crossing corridor.
O’Malley worked on securing the funds while she was on the Albuquerque City Council. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2010 as part of the Bus and Bus Livability Grant Program.