On May 16, the Albuquerque City Council voted 7 to 2 to approve the the 2022-2023 city budget. The council approved the budget on a 7-2 vote with Democrat City Councilors Pat Davis, Isaac Benton, Klarisa Pena, Tammy Fiebelkorn and Louie Sanchez and Republicans Brook Basaan and Trudy Jones voting YES and Republicans Dan Lewis and Renee Grout voting NO. The fiscal year begins on July 1, 2022 and will end on June 30, 2023. By law, the city budget must be a balance budget with deficit spending strictly prohibited.
The overall budget approved by the Albuquerque City council is for $1.4 Billion and with $857 million in general fund Appropriations. The budget approved by the council was increased by 20% over the current year’s budget which ends June 10, 2022.
The general fund appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year is more than the present year’s $714.5 million. It is also $15 million more than the fiscal year 2023 proposed by Mayor Tim Keller and sent to the Council on April 1. The total city budget of $1.4 Bullion includes “enterprise fund” Departments, such as Aviation, that are funded by their own revenues.
The general fund provides funding for city essential and basic services such as police protection, fire protection, the bus system, solid waste collection and disposal, the zoo, aquarium, the city’s museums maintenance, city libraries, the bus system, senior and community centers, swimming pools and parks and road maintenance. According to the proposed 2022-2023 budget, in 2021 the city had 6,536 full time employees and under the approved budget will have 6,916 for an increase of 380 full time positions or a 5.8% increase.
The increase includes $107.8 million in Gross Receipts Tax (GRT), $3.5 million in property tax, $7.2 million in other taxes, $3.1 million in enterprise revenue, and $57.8 million in inter-fund and fund balances. Gross Receipts Tax (GRT), enterprise revenues, and property taxes together make up 61% of the City’s total revenues. GRT is the City’s major source of revenue and is estimated at $529.7 million or 38% of total resources for fiscal year 2023. Property Tax comprises 12.4% of total revenue. The various enterprises operated by the City are estimated to generate 10.6% of total revenue in fiscal year 2023.
The Keller administration projected that the city will have over $100 million more in gross receipts tax to spend in 2023 than it budgeted for this year. Gross Receipts Tax is the tax assessed on the sale of most goods and services and GRT revenues have been much stronger than expected creating a balance of funding that can be applied to the 2022- 2023 budget cycle.
The approved budget includes 5% pay hikes for city workers plus additional one-time incentives of up to $2,000 per employee. The 5% pay raise for city workers and one-time incentive pay of between $500 and $2,000 dollars is for employees making under $100,000 a year. The Keller Administration had proposed a city-wide 2% cost-of-living increase for the city workforce. The City of Albuquerque employs upwards of 6,259 full time employees.
The link to the proposed and enacted 2022-2023 proposed budget is here:
LARGEST DEPARTMENT BUDGETS PASSED AND INCREASES
There are 28 city departments. The Police Department and the Fire and Rescue Department are the two largest departments for City operating appropriations, primarily due to their large workforces. The two departments together comprise 26.8% of the total fund appropriations of $1.4 billion and 43.1% of the General Fund appropriations of $841.8 million in fiscal year 2022-2023.
ALBUQUERQUE POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) continues to be the largest city budget out of 27 departments. The fiscal year 2023 approved General Fund budget is $255.4 million, which represents an increase of 14.7% or $32.8 million above the fiscal year 2022 level. The approved General Fund civilian count is 665 and sworn count is 1,100 for a total of 1,765 full-time positions.
APD’s general fund budget of $255.4 provides funding for 1,100 full time sworn police officers, with the department fully funded for 1,100 sworn police for the past 3 years. However, there are currently 875 sworn officers in APD. The APD budget provides funding for 1,100 in order to accommodate growth. During APD’s budget review hearing, APD Chief Medina acknowledged that the department will likely not meet that staffing level and the personnel funds will help cover other operating costs.
The APD’s budget was increased to accommodate for an immediate 8% in police pay and another 5% in police pay to begin in July because of the new police union contract.
The APD budget provides for a net total increase of $1.2 million in overtime pay to accommodate the police union contract hourly rate increase that went into effect on January 1, 2022.
In fiscal year 2022, a memorandum of understating agreement was approved increasing the hourly rate of pay for 911 operators in an effort to retain emergency service operators and offer a competitive wage for a total personnel cost of $737 thousand.
Technical adjustments include funding of $6.4 million for a 5% increase in hourly wages and longevity for sworn officers in accordance to year two of the approved police union contract and 2% Cost of Living Adjustments for civilian positions, subject to negotiations for positions associated with a union. An adjustment of $2.6 million for health benefits, insurance administration, life insurance and 0.5% State mandated Public Employees Retirement increase for the employer’s share.
A net total increase of $1.2 million in overtime is included for the APOA hourly rate increase that went into effect January 1, 2022. In fiscal year 2022, 63 full-time civilian positions were added at a total cost of $4.9 million including benefits and reduction of $134 thousand in contractual services for a net cost of $4.7 million to support the daily operations and/or compliance with the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA).
ALBUQUERQUE FIRE RESCUE
The Fire and Rescue Department (AFR) is the second-largest city department with funding at $107.6 million and reflects an increase of 11.6% or $11.2 million above the fiscal year 2022 original budget. In fiscal year 2021, AFR was budgeted for 781 full time positions and in the 2023, AFR is budgeted for 812 full time positions.
AFR and the Fire Marshal’s office are involved with code enforcement actions against substandard or vacant commercial and residential properties and the “Addressing Dilapidated and Abandoned Property Team” (ADAPT program.) AFR is also involved with the “Humane and Ethical Animal Regulations and Treatment (HEART)” Ordinance for frequent 9-1-1 callers.
Within the AFR budget, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is funded. OEM assisted with the city’s response to the pandemic, activating volunteers and City workers on everything from the distribution of protective equipment to operating points of dispensation to get the vaccine to thousands of Albuquerque residents. The Fiscal Year 2023 budget for AFR is in the top of the nation for medical calls per capita . . The AFR budget includes one-time payment of a million dollars to put towards funding and paramedic programming while maintaining proper staffing levels, and $2.4 million to increase call response capacity in high utilization areas.
The council approved 29 new positions for AFR all on the medical side. 16 of the positions will be paramedics to work on rescues in the southeast part of the city, which sees the highest number of medical calls.
There will also be 13 more positions funded for people to fill in for firefighters who decide to go to paramedic school. Traditionally, those students would be taken out of the mix during their year of study but these additional positions will make sure the department is fully-staffed during those times.
ALBUQUERQUE COMMUNITY SAFETY DEPARTMENT
In fiscal year 2021, the Keller Administration created the Albuquerque Community Safety Department (ACS) with an initial budget of $2.5 million. The ACS consists of social workers and mental health care workers to deal with those suffering from a mental health crisis or drug addiction crisis and they are dispatched in lieu of sworn police or fire emergency medical paramedics.
The fiscal year 2022 budget for ACS was $7.7 million and the fiscal year 2023 proposed budget doubles the amount to $15.5 million to continue the service of responding to calls for service and perform outreach for inebriation, homelessness, addiction, and other issues that do not require police or EMT response.
The Albuquerque Community Safety Department (ACS) dispatches trained and unarmed professionals to respond to 9-1-1 calls that do not require a police or paramedic response. ACS is taking hundreds of calls per month, easing the burden on police and paramedics and improving outcomes on behavioral health calls.
The Fiscal Year 2023 proposed budget was for $15 million to provide funding to add 74 new positions to make it a 24/7 round-the-clock operation across the city. However, at the Keller Administration’s request during the budget hearing, the council voted to fund the new jobs for only part of next year under the assumption they would not all be filled as of July 1.
CITY COUNCIL DOUBLES BUDGET REQUEST TO ADDRESS HOMELESSNESS
Since being elected Mayor and assuming office for his first term on Decemebr 1, 2017, Mayor Tim Keller’s addressing the city’s homelessness crisis has been a top priority. The Keller Administration has said the goal is to address the homeless crisis through a housing-first approach.
During the May 16 city council meeting, several amendments passed that increased the amount of money going toward emergency housing support for the homeless. Those amendments increased the total appropriations from $7 million to just under $15 million. The city council approved $15 million dollars in recurring funds for housing vouchers meant to help the homeless, or those on the brink of it, to pay their rent.
Funding of $3 million for supportive housing was provided as was first requested with $4 million added to go toward that cause each year.
Overall, the council approved upwards of $20 million for rental vouchers, about $15 million of it built into the budget on a recurring basis.
Albuquerque began operating its first Gateway Center for the homeless at the former Lovelace Hospital the city purchased for the Gibson Health hub. $4.7 was approved to operate the emergency shelter.
Mayor Keller’s office will now have to create a plan to use the extra money granted by the council for those in need of supportive housing. There is also $100,000 in the budget allocated toward emergency housing for victims of domestic violence.
The 2022-2023 approved city budget provides major funding to deal with the homeless including the following approved funding:
• $24 million in Emergency Rental Assistance from the federal government, which the City will make available in partnership with the State.
• $4 million in recurring funding and $2 million in one-time funding for supportive housing programs in the City’s Housing First model. In addition, as recommended by the Mayor’s Domestic Violence Task Force, the budget includes $100 thousand for emergency housing vouchers for victims of intimate partner violence.
• $4.7 million net to operate the City’s first Gateway Center at the Gibson Medical Facility, including revenue and expenses for facility and program operations.
• $500 thousand to fund Albuquerque Street Connect, a highly effective program that focuses on people experiencing homelessness who use the most emergency services and care, to establish ongoing relationships that result in permanent supportive housing.
• $214 thousand to adequately staff the senior meal home delivery program, which delivered over 390,000 meals to seniors since the pandemic started.
• $750,000 for proposed “safe outdoor spaces,” often called government sanctioned encampments for the homeless. If approved by Council, will enable ultra-low barrier encampments to set up in vacant dirt lots across the City. There is an additional $200,000 for developing other sanctioned encampment programs.
• $1.3 million for a Medical Respite facility at Gibson Health Hub, which will provide acute and post-acute care for persons experiencing homelessness who are too ill or frail to recover from a physical illness or injury on the streets but are not sick enough to be in a hospital.
• Full funding for the Westside Emergency Housing Center which is operated close to full occupancy for much of the year.
• $500 thousand to fund the development of a technology system that enables the City and providers to coordinate on the provision of social services to people experiencing homelessness and behavioral health challenges.
• $500 thousand to fund Albuquerque Street Connect, a highly effective program that focuses on people experiencing homelessness who use the most emergency services and care, to establish ongoing relationships that result in permanent supportive housing.
SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS INITIATIVES
Safe Neighborhood Initiatives deals with making strong neighborhoods marked by clean and safe public spaces and a thriving environment. The approved fiscal year 2023 budget includes the following Safe Neighborhood Initiatives:
• Full funding for nuisance abatement, including the Code Enforcement Division of Planning and the ADAPT program in the Fire Marshal’s Office to continue voluntary abatement, condemnations and clean-ups. Three years ago, the Keller Administration gutted the Safe City Strike Force, an acknowledged best practices program that initiated upwards of 1,000 enforcement actions a year against substandard properties that were magnets for crime, and eliminated $1.5 million in funding and substituted the ADAPT program that emphasizes “voluntary” compliance with city codes an avoids condemnations and code compliance measures.
• An additional $750 thousand to expand the very successful spay and neuter program to reduce the population of homeless animals in the City.
• An additional $580 thousand for City security staff to be dedicated to City parks.
• An additional $445 thousand to form an Illegal Dumping Crew that will also service cleanliness to the City’s ART stations.
• Full funding for emergency board-up activities, and the Block-by-Block program.
• Full funding for emergency board-up activities and the Block-by-Block program.
SAFE COMMUNITIES’ PROGRAMS
Safe Community programs are ones that deal with issues such as substance abuse, homelessness, domestic violence and youth opportunity makes our community safer and stronger. The Fiscal Year 2023 budget includes the following funding for Safe Community programs:
• $1.8 million to develop what will be Albuquerque’s only medical substance abuse facility dedicated to youths likely housed at the Gibson Health Hub.
• Full funding for the Violence Intervention Program that deals with both APD and Family & Community Services departments, including the first phase of School-Based VIP in partnership with APS.
• $736 thousand to fully fund the Assisted Outpatient Treatment program.
• $730 thousand for a partial year of operation of a Medical Sobering Center at Gibson Health Hub, which will complement the social model sobering facilities available at the County’s CARES campus.
• Full funding for the “Automated Speed Enforcement” program, including hearing officers, where civil speeding citations are issued with the use of “speed van” surveillance cameras. The “Automated Speed Enforcement” program was announced last year to deal with speeding. It is a “semi-judicial” program that is similar to the controversial “re light camera” program that was dismantled 7 years ago.
The program will be administered by the City Clerk and not the City Attorney. The City Attorney Office is currently funded for and staffs the Metropolitan Court Traffic Arraignment program. The Office of the City Clerk also manages the Office of Administrative Hearings and is responsible for conducting all hearings specifically assigned by City of Albuquerque ordinance, including animal appeals, handicap parking and personnel matters. The approved fiscal year 2023 General Fund budget is $4.3 million, an increase of 47.7%, or $1.4 million above the fiscal year 2022 original budget.
• Full funding for service contracts for mental health, substance abuse, early intervention and prevention programs, domestic violence shelters and services, sexual assault services, health and social service center providers, and services to abused, neglected and abandoned youth.
• Full investment in youth programs in partnership with the Albuquerque Public Schools and nonprofits that keep our kids off the streets and out of harm’s way and youth violence prevention initiatives that aim to break the intergenerational cycle of crime and incarceration.
STIMULATING THE ECONOMY
The city has been working to support businesses and families through the economic challenges of COVID-19. The enacted 2023 budget invests in business support and economic development programs.
Highlights of approved funding include:
• $5 million investment in the Local Economic Development Act fund, which has helped the City retain and attract businesses like Netflix, NBC Universal, Los Poblanos, and Build With Robots.
• Streamlining the development process through $1.2 million in investments for process improvements, new technology, and additional staffing in the Planning Department.
• A reserve of $15 million that will provide a local 4 to 1 match if the City is awarded a federal grant to create a “Space Valley” downtown.
• $1.1 million for the next phase of Job Training Albuquerque, a partnership with CNM Ingenuity that provides an opportunity for employers to skill up their workforce and provides an opportunity for employees to gain high-demand skills and industry specific credentials.
• $547 thousand to support the City’s hosting of sporting events, including the highly successful USATF track meet and tennis, pickleball, bicycle and running events.
• Funding for the next cohort of Tipping Points for Creatives, a highly successful initiative to enhance our creative economy using an “increment of one” approach.
• Full recurring funding for the Small Business Office, which has provided technical assistance to help local businesses access COVID relief programs,
WORKFORCE YOUTH PROGRAMS
The Keller Administration since taking office 4 years ago has emphasized youth development programs to deal with crime and poverty by investing in programs that get youth off the street with before- and after-school and summer programs. COVID dramatically changed many needs of those programs. As the city populace emerges from the pandemic, the City is focusing on returning to pre-COVID levels of access and participation in summer and before- and after-school programs.
The Fiscal Year 2023 budget continues youth programming by fully funding the Head Start program in the General Fund, funding to sustain our highly successful Youth Connect system of youth programming, and support to aquatics. Funding is included for a new youth “sobering center” to provide addiction counseling and mental health services.
ONE TIME EXPENDITURES
Because of the volatility of the economy, including rising inflation and gas prices as well as fluctuating gross receipts tax revenues, the 2022-2023 approved city budget contains significantly more onetime expenses in the fiscal year. Nearly 11% of all general fund spending is line itemed for one-time expenditures which means once the projects are completed there will be no recurring budget expenses.
One-time money expenditures included in the approved budget are the following:
$10 million in nonrecurring money for city buildings, including potential upgrades to City Hall, the police headquarters and other city facilities.
$10 million for a “cost escalation fund” that will help complete existing construction projects amid soaring prices.
$5 million for future Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) grants,
$5 million for city vehicles.
$3 million for housing vouchers.
$2.6 million for a police use-of-force review consultant.
$2 million for dog parks.
$1.8 million for events sponsored by the Department of Arts and Culture.
$1.5 million to subsidize the free city bus service.
The links to quoted news sources material are here
CITY COUNCIL CUTS
The city council eliminated the Keller administration’s planned $702,000 cannabis services division. To be housed within the city’s Environmental Health Department, the division would have had staff dedicated to various cannabis inspections. City councilors questioned the scope and necessity of the division given the state’s regulation of the industry.
The council also cut from the proposed budget funding for some community events. The council also removed 2 revenue generating proposals contained in Keller’s proposed budget. One was to charge a $20 “surrender” fee when owners take their pets to city animal shelters. The other would have raised the coffee price at city senior centers to 50 cents from the current 30 cents. Under an amendment, the senior centers will provide coffee for free.
The link to news source material is here:
CITY COUNCLORS REACT TO BUDGET PASSAGE
First term Republican City Councilor Brook Basaan was the Council Budget Chairwoman and presided over all city budget hearings that reviewed each of the 27 department budgets. Reacting to the fact the council enacted a budget with $100 million more in additional spending, Bassan had this to say:
“With inflation and the cost of services and goods, that’s part of what I’m trying to wrap my head around and accept is that things did go up globally, so I’m not surprised our budget did too. ”
The council approved the budget on a 7-2 vote with City Councilors Dan Lewis and Renee Grout voting against it. Neither explained their opposition during the meeting. After the meeting, City Councilor Dan Lewis said in an interview that he could not support appropriating $100 million in additional revenues an he had this to say:
“I just disagree with the entire budget. … I think it could have been done a lot better.”
Lewis singled out and objected to the $250,000 council sponsorship of Planned Parenthood, no doubt because he is “pro life” and is opposed to Plan Parenthood and a woman’s right to choose. Dan Lewis failed to provide specific as examples of departments or programs getting too much money in the approved budget.
During the April 28 budget hearing, Republican City Councilor Dan Lewis questioned APD for more information on its budgeting strategy on using unspent sworn police officers salaries for other priorities. Lewis said this:
“I think it’s good for us to understand this is not a budget that [actually] funds 1,100 police officers. … We’re going to give you [funding for] 1,100 officers this year. We’re going to fund [the amount] just like we did last year. We’re continuing to do that, but I think at the very least what this council is going to need and want is a very specific breakdown of where those salary savings went because we didn’t hire those officers.”
Chief Medina said that financial cushion from last year helped cover a union-negotiated 8% officer pay increase that took effect in January and was not otherwise funded. The proposed budget covers the continuation of the 8% pay increase that went into effect in January and then covers the additional 5%, for a total of 13% in APD sworn police raises that starts on July 1. 2022.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYIS
SELF RIGHTEOUS DAN LEWIS MOUTHING OFF IS SIGN OF THINGS TO COME
Republican City Councilor Dan Lewis mouthing off and saying “I just disagree with the entire budget. … I think it could have been done a lot better” amounts to nothing more than meritless, self-righteous indignation and laziness on his part. If Dan Lewis had a problem with the proposed budget funding and APD budgeting he should have offered amendments to the budget to voice his concerns and make cuts or require further approval from the City Council, but no, he just wanted to grand stand for publicity sake.
Lewis is also no neophyte to the City Council. He has just begun his third term on the city council after a 4-year absence caused by him losing his run for Mayor in 2017 in a landslide to Tim Keller. Lewis has served as the City Council Budget Chair in the past and knows full well that he could have just as easily instructed the council to draft a proposed “substitute budget” to his liking, or sponsored amendments to the proposed budget, but that would have required effort and some work on his part.
The blunt truth is Dan Lewis could have NOThave done a better job with the budget and he just wants to complain for publicity sake. Dan Lewis has already made it known privately to supporters he is running for Mayor again in 2025. His voting noon the budget amounts to nothing more than his continuing obstructionists’ tactics he is known for since assuming office on January 1 to carry out his personal vendetta against Tim Keller.
LARGEST BUDGET IN CITY’S HISTORY
Last year’s $1.2 Billion dollar budget was the largest budget in the city’s history and that record has now been broken. The 2022-2023 approved city budget of $1.4 Billion and with $857 million in general fund appropriations and a 20% increase over the current year’s budget which ends June 10, 2022 makes it the single largest budget in the city’s history. Information on budgets passed for other city departments can be found in the postscript to this blog.
The City Council budget process is one of the very few times that the council can bore deep down into each of the city department budgets. All too often, Mayor’s and their political operatives view the City Council more of an annoyance as opposed to being a legitimate oversight function.
All to often, it becomes a process of members of the City Council asking the Mayor and his top executives the main question “What is it in this budget do you not want us to know about?” or put it another way “What is it that you are hiding or lying about?”
The council’s approved budget will now be forwarded to Mayor Tim Keller for his final review and signature.
Other major departments budgets worth noting in the 2022-2023 budget listed from highest to lowest budgets approved in the 2023 budget are as follows:
The SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT provides residential and commercial trash collection, disposal, and the collection of residential recycling. The department oversees large-item disposal, graffiti removal, weed and litter abatement, median maintenance, convenience centers, and neighborhood cleanup support. Other services include operating the City landfill in compliance with State and Federal regulations and educating the public about recycling and responsible waste disposal. The council approved budget is for $89.8 million, of which $67.1 million is to fund operations and $22.6 million is in transfers to other funds. The Solid Waste Management Department’s fiscal year 2023 operating budget reflects an increase of 3.8% or $3.3 million above the fiscal year 2022 original budget level. In 2022, the department budget lists 505 full time positions and and in 2023 there 524 full time positions listed.
The FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SERVICES has total funding at $72.4 million. Under the council approved budget its funding is increased by 24%. Family and Community Services in 2022 is budgeted for 323 and in 2023 it is budgeted for 335 full time positions.
The AVIATION DEPARTMENT operates two municipal airports: The Albuquerque International Sunport , which covers approximately 2,200 acres on Albuquerque’s east side; and Double Eagle II (DE II) Reliever Airport, which covers approximately 4,500 acres on Albuquerque’s west side. The council approved budget for fiscal year 2023, is $69.2 million, or an increase of 4% from the fiscal year 2022 original budget of $66.5 million employing 293 in 2022 and employing 298 in 2023.
The DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND CULTURE is comprised of seven divisions. The Albuquerque Biological Park (BioPark) operates the Zoo, Aquarium, Botanic Gardens, Heritage Farm, Bugarium, Tingley Beach and the Albuquerque Museum. The fiscal year 2023 council approved General Fund budget for the Department of Arts and Culture is $49.7 million and reflects an increase of 7% or $3.3 million above the fiscal year 2022 level. The Department of Arts and Culture in 2022 is budgeted for 399 and in 2023 it is budgeted for 403 full time positions.
The TRANSIT DEPARTMENT provides fixed route (ABQ Ride) and rapid transit (ART) bus service for the Albuquerque community and Para-Transit (SunVan) service for the mobility impaired population. The Fiscal year 2023 council approved budget for the Transit Department Operating Fund is $62.8 million, an increase of $13.5 million above the fiscal 2022 original budget. The department has listed 546 full time positions for 2022 and has 552 full time positions listed for 2023.
The PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT serves the recreational needs of the residents of Albuquerque and the surrounding metropolitan areas. The department is organized into the following divisions: park management, recreation services, aquatics, open space, golf, parks design, planning and construction. The council approved budget is $54.2 million, an increase of 17.1%, or $7.9 million above the FY/22 original budget. The Parks and Recreation Department employs 318 in 2022 and will 329 in 2023.
The DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT (DMD) operates and maintains City streets, storm drains, traffic signals, street lighting, parking operations and the development and design of capital public buildings. The fiscal year 2023 approved budget for the General Fund budget is $39 million, a decrease of 45.5% or $32.5 million below the fiscal year 2022 original budget. The major reason for the decrease is that many functions and divisions of the DMD were transferred to General Services Department including the department’s divisions of security, facilities maintenance, energy, Gibson Medical Center, Law Enforcement Center and stadium operations resulting in a total decrease to DMD’s budget of $37.8 million. Total full time positions for the Municipal Development Department will go from 546 in 2022 to 334 in 2023.
The GENERAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT (GSD) is a new department in fiscal year 2023 with the key responsibility of centralizing maintenance of major City facilities such as the Albuquerque Government Center, the Baseball Stadium and the Convention Center, which includes contract management. This department will assume responsibility for the facilitation of security and fleet operations throughout the City. GSD also includes Energy and Sustainability as well as the Law Enforcement Center and Gibson Medical Center. The fiscal year 2023 approved budget is $39 million and includes a move of facilities, security, Gibson Medical Center, 3% Energy CIP from Municipal Development, Convention Center and Railyards from Economic Development, and Fleet Services from Finance and Administrative Services. The number of full time employees for the General services department in 2021 is 247.
The PLANNING DEPARTMENT’S fiscal year 2023 city council approved budget is $21.9 million, an increase of $5.2 million or 31.6% above the fiscal year 2022 original budget. The planning department will add 21 new positions, including 10 “to streamline and expedite” development review processes, and new departmental software. In Code Enforcement, eight positions are added to increase the division’s ability to respond to customer inquiries, provide quicker review times for building permits, and to properly enforce new ordinances and initiatives. The total cost for positions and associated operating increases the budget by $571 thousand of which $28 thousand is one-time.
The CITY ATTORNEY and the Legal Department advises the City in all legal matters, and consists of six main divisions: the Litigation Division; the Employment Law Division; the Municipal Affairs Division; the Division of Property, Finance, Development and Public Information; the Policy Division; and the Compliance Division. The Litigation Division appears on behalf of the City in all courts in New Mexico and before administrative and legislative bodies. The legal department is responsible for managing and defending the City, its elected and appointed officials, and departments before all federal and state courts in relation to civil rights and tort related claims. The fiscal year 2023 city council approved budget is is $9.7 million, an increase of 22% over the fiscal year 2022 original budget. In 2021, the legal department employed 78 full time employees and in 2023 it is budgeted to employ 83.
The OFFICE OF THE CITY CLERK maintains official records for the City of Albuquerque, administers the public financing program for municipal elections, manages and administers all municipal elections, accepts construction and contracting bids from the general public, as well as accepts service of process for summons, subpoenas and tort claims on behalf of the City of Albuquerque. The City Clerk is the chief records custodian for the City of Albuquerque and processes requests for public records pursuant to the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IRPA). The city clerk receives upwards of 10,000 public records requests each year. The Office of the City Clerk also manages the Office of Administrative Hearings and is responsible for conducting all hearings specifically assigned by City of Albuquerque ordinance, including animal appeals, handicap parking and personnel matters. The fiscal year 2023 city council approved budget isis $4.3 million, an increase of 47.7%, or $1.4 million above the fiscal year 2022 original budget. The city clerk has 28 full time employees.
Other much smaller budgeted city departments include Senior Affairs, the Human Resources Department, the Office of the Mayor, Office of Chief Administrative Officer, the Office of Inspector General, Office of Internal Audit and the Civilian Police Oversight Department. Smaller departments such as City Support, Finance and Administrative Services, and Human Resources have large appropriations because of the number and type of funds managed within the departments.
The link to the 244-page 2022-2023 budget to review all city department budgets is here: