Awarding an interaction as “Best Politician Interview” is akin to “Best Light Beer” in terms of a very low bar, so to speak. Most, if not almost all, politician interviews are nothing but duck, dive, weave and inarticulately avoid.
The same cannot be said for the recent fascinating chat between Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and KUNM’s Stephen Spitz. The subject is principally Albuquerque Rapid Transit, and, in around 30 minutes, listeners learn far more about A.R.T. history, implementation, current status, and immediate future than EVER happened at any point of the Berry Administration’s many
dog and pony shows public meetings, outreach, media interviews, you name it.
Whatever you think of Mayor Keller, or his answers on A.R.T., you have to give him kudos for his ability to succinctly articulate the situation, as well as his candor. Is it easier for any one of us to discuss a mess caused by somebody else? Yes, of course. Nevertheless, Keller tells it like it is, and the problems in making it better, extremely well in this interview.
Amid his many eye-opening observations about the past and future of A.R.T., Keller drops the following (beginning about minute 18 of the interview):
“We might not be able to run this system on electric buses…”
“So we are looking at the possibility of like a mixed fleet of buses to kind of diversify away that risk…”
Well ain’t that a kick in the pants?
By “mixed fleet” Keller means a mix of electric and non-electric buses, and readers can listen to the interview to get the low-down on why, including about *153 other eye-opening details that the Berry Administration never told us about these buses.
Investing 30 minutes in anything, particularly online, is asking a lot, but BB readers are encouraged to give the entire interview a listen. Those listening who were never for A.R.T. in the first place might need a stiff drink over the half-hour, but those of us who have generally favored the project might need more than one. Perhaps quite a few more.
It’s sobering information, yet with the silver lining that at least we now have a Mayor capable of truly informing us in a way FAR superior to the previous administration.
There is that, and there is A.R.T., electric warts and all.
*Many of these 153 points boil down to “Never buy the Beta Version.” I wonder why we did that? Hmmm…I wonder. Sure would like somebody to find out why we did that. Sure would.