This is one of the strongest editorial comments that I have seen in many years from any news agency.
The article was written by ALB Free Press editor Dennis Domrzalski.
Dennis has 40+ years’ experience covering and writing stories about Albuquerque City Hall and the Albuquerque business community and he knows both like the back of his hand.
His discussion of what has been going on in this city with the elected officials and the business community for so many years is on the mark, especially when it comes to groups like NAIOP and the Economic Forum.
Following are portions of the article that are particularly powerful:
“Only in Albuquerque are public officials who are total incompetents and failures feted with dinners and awards.
And that’s why Albuquerque has always been, and will always be, an economic and social backwater, a place of self-and-rigidly-imposed mediocrity.
It’s no coincidence that Cole is giving a failed mayor an award. Cole and her organization, and pretty much every other business and political group, are part of a small clique of people who have run this town for decades. Their faces and names never change.
In the 40 years that this clique has run things, nothing has changed. Albuquerque is still the backwater that it was 40 years ago. Clique members have had no new ideas in decades and they have presided over a colossal effort in mediocrity. And they have always given each other awards.
That’s how the system works. Members of the clique, no matter how awful and mediocre they are, give each other awards. The media sheepishly report on these awards as if they’re legitimate and never ask why the same people keep giving and getting awards from each other.
Who’s in the clique?
Big developers, construction company CEO’s, architects, engineers, bankers, consultants and everyone else who lives off city and government contracts. They are, in short, the NAIOP crowd, and their world is, in many ways, light years away from the rest of ours.
They live in gated communities and hire private security firms to patrol their neighborhoods. And if they have Police Chief Gordon Eden’s private cell phone number, they’ll get a cop to immediately show up when their car is burglarized, all while more serious calls from the rest of us are backing up because there aren’t enough cops to get to them.
Like Albuquerque, the clique is small. Its members depend on one another for jobs and government contracts. That’s why you never hear any of these people criticizing each other, or city councilors or mayors. If they do, they’ll lose their contracts and won’t get any more.
So they keep their mouths shut and gleefully go along with the mediocrity and failure in the hopes that they too will get some dumb and worthless award.
The clique has been in control for more than 40 years and they have failed, and failed completely. They will stay in control and keep giving each other awards unless the rest of us change things.”
At the end of his column, Dennis calls upon every Albuquerque resident who has been the victim of crime during the last eight years that Berry has been mayor should show up at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 29, at the award ceremony at the Albuquerque Museum and tell Berry and Chamber of Commerce President Terri Cole exactly what they think of the job Berry has done making Albuquerque the crime capital of America and whether he deserves the “Excellence in Public Safety Award”.
Knowing how Berry literally runs and hides from controversy, I would not be surprised if Berry did not show up to get his award once he sees a crowd of protesters.