DINO Davis Has Republican Conscience

Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis has agreed with the Republican Berry Administration and agreed with Republican City Councilors on so many strategies and issues you would think Pat Davis was in fact a Republican.

The term that comes to mind is DINO (Democrat In Name Only).

Davis has once again shown his willingness to march to the tune of Republican Mayor Berry, despite one of his prior votes on the City Council.

On an 8 to 1 vote, the Albuquerque City Council enacted the 2017-2018 city budget, with Pat Davis voting for it, that provided 3% raises for city employees and longevity pay for APD sworn police officers.

The council passed budget was carefully crafted with input from all the city councilors and public hearings.

The original 2016-2017 budget was passed over the objections of Mayor Berry,

Mayor Berry vetoed the entire city budget for the first time in his seven (7) years as Mayor showing he can be the same kind of leader as Suszana Martinez when she vetoed the State of New Mexico budget.

Berry claimed the budget passed by the council was “structurally unsound” objecting to the pay raises and longevity pay.

Berry went as far as to say “The budget that came up from the City Council was well-intentioned, but it was simply a recipe to overpromise and underdeliver.”

At the same time Berry announced his veto, Pat Davis and Republican City Councilor Brad Winter announced with the Mayor a $528.9 million dollar “compromise budget” as a substitute to avoid an override of the budget.

Pat Davis apparently had no intent of even attempting an override of the very budget he voted for and that was passed on an 8-1 vote.

The Davis/Winter “compromise budget” reduced city employee pay raises to 1% and drastically reduced the police officer retention pay program by anywhere from $1.6 to $4 million, which was what was in the Mayor’s original budget.

The Davis/Winter compromise budget was hailed as the best thing next to sliced toast by the Albuquerque Journal in an editorial which was a tip off that the Journal did not like the prospect that an override of their favorite Mayor was possible.

When the vetoed budget went before the City Council, for the first time in eight years, the Albuquerque City Council, to the chagrin of Pat Davis, overrode the veto!

(See June 6, 2017 Albuquerque Journal, page A-1, “City Council overrides mayor’s budget veto; Councilrs note that package can be amended to fix the glitches” https://www.abqjournal.com/1013533/council-overrides-albuquerque-mayors-budget-veto.html)

Voting to override the Berry veto were Democrat Councilors Isaac Benton, Ken Sanchez, Klarissa Peña, Diane Gibson and Republicans Dan Lewis and Don Harris.

Ken Sanchez, Klarisa Pena, Diane Gibson and Don Harris are running for re-election and Dan Lewis is running for Mayor which may explain fully the new found courage they found in standing up to Berry for the very first time and over riding the Berry veto.

The normally quiet City Councillor Klarissa Pena showed some leadership when she justified her over ride vote by saying that the Davis/Winter compromise budget had not received the same public input as the vetoed budget approved by the city council.

Voting against the veto were Democrat Pat Davis and his Republican best buddies Brad Winter and Trudy Jones.

A despondent Pat Davis, as if channeling Republican Mayor Berry, said of the override “I can’t in good conscience see how this council could vote to override when it would put us on a credit watch”.

No Councilor Davis, it is you who do not have a very “good conscience”.

City Councilor Pat Davis sponsored the original longevity pay budget amendment and the council voted 5-4 to give officers longevity pay of up to $13,000 a year, but only if the city meets its quarterly revenue projections.

The Davis amendment to the first budget that passed places the entire $4 million for longevity pay into a reserve fund, the city would spend $1 million a quarter on longevity pay, with payment to officer’s contingent on the city meeting revenue forecasts over the next 15 months.

The City’s Budget Officer Gerald Romero said at the time “If revenues don’t pick up [then the money for the longevity pay] stays in reserves. … The way I read it, it doesn’t give us much wiggle room.”

Arguably, an APD officer could decide to stay and work with APD or not retire because of the promised longevity pay and then the City could turn around and say it has not met its revenue forecast and decide not to pay the officer the promised longevity pay.

If Pat Davis really wanted a longevity pay program, he could have made sure it was funded without any strings attached, but he did not.

Councilor Isaac Benton correctly pointed out after the veto override that the city council can amend the budget anytime to fix “glithes” which is likely within a week.

As City Councilor Pat Davis campaigns for the US Congress as a progressive Democrat, talks like a progressive Democrat, he needs to be asked by Democratic Party voters if once elected to the US Congress will he vote in good conscience like a Republican as he has done so many times during his very short tenure on the Albuquerque City Council.

This entry was posted in Opinions by . Bookmark the permalink.


Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.