Up To The Challenge

The Albuquerque Journal did an excellent front page profile of Mayor Tim Keller on New Year’s Eve 2017 that went into great detail on his background, his family and hopes and aspirations for the new year and for Albuquerque.

The fact the article was written by Senior Editor Kent Walz says a lot.

(December 31, 2017 Albuquerque Journal, page A1, “FACE TO FACE WITH TIM KELLER”, “TAKING THE REINS”, “Dyslexia, football and a love of politics shape new mayor”)


The one quote that stuck out to me in the profile of Mayor Keller was his final comment “When I decided to run, I realized it might be the last job I ever get politically, so I’m ready for that. I think the key is to go through that and leave it all on the field in the sense you try to do everything you wanted to do. And then if it doesn’t work out, you gave it your best.”

This comment reflects a dramatic political maturity from 20 months ago when I asked him why he was running for Mayor and he said “because I think it would be really neat to be Mayor of my home town and I have done good at all the jobs I have ever held”. Frankly, I was somewhat taken aback by his initial naivete based on what he told me 20 months ago.

Hard fought campaigns are an education of candidates, not only on the issues, but also an education of learning a lot about yourself.

Mayor Keller won by a landslide with 62% of the vote in a runoff.

Keller now has a mandate for change and he needs to take advantage of that early on, especially when it comes to the Albuquerque Police Department, our economy, cleaning up the mess he was left and taxes.

Winning by such a historical margin the first time around just may mean his popularity has in fact “peaked” given the challenges we face as a community.

Mayor Keller’s popularity will take a hit once he starts making the hard decisions.

Most assuredly, Mayor Keller will be tested in a crisis as is are all Mayors.

We should all do what we can to support his efforts but nonetheless hold him accountable for his actions.

Frankly, I have no doubt now that Tim Keller is up to the challenge and he will be a good Mayor.

Only time will tell if he will serve multiple terms or goes onto higher office or for that matter nowhere at all as all other Mayors.

As the old Chinese curse goes “May you live in interesting times”.

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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.