ART Bus Project Funding in Serious Jeopardy

Congress’ decision to not consider outgoing President Obama’s budget jeopardizes the bulk of the ART Bus Projects funding and places the entire project at serious risk. The letter of commitment from the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) for the ART Bus Project the City was given is not worth the paper it was written on and nothing more than a promise. In 2017, the City of Albuquerque will not be getting a nickel from the FTA, even though construction of the ART bus project is scheduled to be completed by September of 2017. Mayor Berry and the City Council have gambled with taxpayer’s money on getting a $69 million dollar federal grant that is now in total jeopardy. They were repeatedly warned, but no, they wanted to cram the project down taxpayer’s throats without a public vote.

Where is the money going to come from to pay the general contractor once work is completed September of next year? Mayor Berry should order an immediate cessation of the project until they have a definitive statement whether or not the grant money will ever be received by the City. But no, the Albuquerque City Council voted to go ahead and spend the grant money we may never get. What this means is, taxpayers will wind up footing the entire bill for Berry’s Boondoggle ART Bus Project. Berry and the City Council are going to end up with at least a $69 million dollar bill they do not have the money pay for it. The Mayor and City Council will be force to take money out of the general fund, cut essential services or even raise taxes, all for a poorly designed bus route that is destroying historical Route 66.

There is a municipal election next year in October, and all the City Councilors running for re-election and candidates for Mayor who support ART need to be held accountable.

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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.