What, Me Worry?

To quote Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Newman “What, me worry?”

It has been reported that the city faces a potential $24 million dollar shortfall in gross receipts tax revenue for the 2017-2018 budget.

It is the biggest budget gap since 2011. (For full story see January 5, 2017 Albuquerque Journal “City faces potential $24 million shortfall”)

Mayor Berry says he is not worried, that it is manageable and the shortfall can be addressed without tax increases. Really?

Republican City Councilor Don Harris, the chairman of the Albuquerque City Council budget committee says the city may have to consider a tax increase.

I have no doubt Berry and City Hall are not at all worried about the shortfall.

City Hall and Berry will simply do what they have done in the past.

There will be more severe budget cuts, personnel cuts, cutting of essential services, layoffs and furloughs in order to avoid a tax increase at all costs, even if it affects essential services and public safety.

Berry is probably elated over the shortfall because this once again gives him an opportunity to reduce the size of city government even further, privatize some essential services and veto any tax increases.

Berry and the city council will never worry about a mere $24 million shortfall, not when they have revenue bonds that do not have to be put to a public vote.

Mayor Berry and the Albuquerque City Council have borrowed over $63 million dollars over the past two years to build pet projects like pickle ball courts, baseball fields and the ART bus project down central by bypassing the voters. (For full story see January 2, 2017 Albuquerque Journal “BYPASSING the Voters” page A-1).

Berry and the Albuquerque City Council so far have used $13 million dollars in revenue bonds to pay for the ART Bus project that was not voted upon by the public.

It has been reported that the $69 million dollar smalls starts grant from the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) has been slashed to $50 million.

Why worry when you can always find the money in Berry’s world of finance.

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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.