On May 26, Mayor Tim Keller signed off on the Albuquerque City Council approved $1.37 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2023 and ends June 30, 2024. Keller said this is the hardest budget he’s worked on since taking office because there was “no extra money”. The budget provides funding for the Albuquerque Police Department to boost staffing up to around 1,000 sworn officers, and millions for the city’s efforts to combat homelessness. City employees will get a 3.5% raise. The city is also putting nearly $17 million to close the “pay equity gap” for around 900 positions in the city. Keller had this to say:
“I will tell you the pay equity issue was the right thing to do, and so I’m proud that we did that as a city – we had to do, we should have done a long time ago. And so we just decided we’re going to rip the Band-Aid off, and we’re going to try and do this right going forward.”
This blog article is an overview and analysis of the 2023-2024 city budget giving major highlights of the 4 largest funded departments.
The overall approved budget is for $1.37 billion with $827.1 million in general fund appropriations marking a 3% decrease from the current year. The combined operating and capital budget of $1,367,695,000 and it is $53.6 million lower than the fiscal year 2023 budget. The approved budget includes a 3.5% pay raise for city employees. The approved budget reflects tighter revenue and an end to much of the federal funding the city received during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The approved budget also includes $48.8 million in nonrecurring appropriations, including a $3 million subsidy for the city’s transit department to pay for free fares on city buses, and $14 million for housing vouchers. The budget also establishes the first-ever minimum wage of $15 an hour for the city’s approximately 6,000 employees, a move that only affects a few dozen people. Inflation made it a priority to give employees a 3.5% pay increase to maintain the city’s competitiveness attracting and retaining employees. The Keller administration’s proposed budget had contained a 2% pay raise.
City Council President Pat Davis had this to say about the enacted budget:
“It’s a lean budget year. … There’s no growth in programs. The economy is slower than it used to be. We don’t have the federal funds we had during COVID. There’s nothing that’s going to move the needle significantly on any of our key issues, like homelessness and public safety.”
Councilor Brook Bassan, who sponsored the budget bill, said councilors found it challenging this year to maintain existing programs. Bassan said this:
“It was very hard this year because things are so tight. … We don’t have all the same one-time funding that we had last year and the year before. So there wasn’t a lot of growth.”
The link to a quoted news source is here:
ANALYSIS OF BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS
The overall operating budget that will begin on July 1, 2023 and end on June 30, 2024 approved by the Albuquerque City Council is for $1.37 billion Billion. $827.1 million is the General Fund which is a reduction of $29.2 million or a 3% decrease from last year’s 2022 budget. The decrease is due to the reduction in non-recurring funding. 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.
The Fiscal Year 2024 forecast includes $48 million in non recuring expenses while only $3.7 million is available for in nonrecurring resources. The approved 2024 Fiscal Year budget includes an estimated $3.4 million for the operation of capital projects that will be coming on line during the year.
The number of budgeted city hall jobs continues to increase under Keller’s tenure. The proposed 2023-2024 budget provides for 7,014 employees which is up 1.5% from the current budget and 16% from 5 years ago when Keller first assumed office. The current increase in jobs includes 33 more positions at APD and 18 in Solid Waste. The city Human Resources Department continues to deal with a high vacancy rates citywide.
Also included are the following major appropriations for city hall employee worth noting:
$8.7 million for a 2% pay raise across the board for City employees.
$9.5 million to increase the subsidy to support Transit Department operations.
$1.3 million increase in medical benefits.
$4 million for risk recovery allocations.
FEDERAL COVID FUNDING GONE
Between spring of 2020 and spring of 2022, the city received upwards of $259 million in pandemic relief and recovery money from the federal government. The infusion of federal funding allowed a major surge in nonrecurring expenditures which are one time yearly funding that are not included in the ongoing annual budget. Last year’s 2023 budget had $96 million in nonrecurring expenses but this year’s 2024 budget is down to $48.8 million.
This year’s nonrecurring budget includes $14 million in rental assistance vouchers and $3 million to subsidize zero-fare bus service. It also includes $3.4 million in Parks and Recreation efforts, including $766,000 for “urban forestry,” $500,000 for park rangers and $350,000 to host this summer’s USA Cycling Masters national championships.
REVENUE GROWTH AND NO TAX INCREASE
According to the 2023-2024 approved budget, the city expects revenue growth to slow. The 2023 budget is built around 5.7% growth, returns have come in even higher but Keller’s administration is budgeting based on 2.4% revenue growth in the coming fiscal year. There is no proposed tax increase in the budget. However the budget would boost parking fees at the Albuquerque International Sunport structure by $1. The increase is expected to generate an additional $1.6 million annually.
Least any forgets, it was in May, 2018, 4 months after Tim Keller was first sworn in as Mayor, the Albuquerque City Council enacted a gross receipt tax increase that raised upwards of $50 million a year. The tax enacted was in response to reports that the city was facing a $40 million deficit. Mayor Keller did not veto the tax increase. Keller broke his pledge to demand a public vote on any tax increase and signed off on the $50 million a year tax increase. He signed off on the tax increase without any fanfare and without proposing any alternative budgets dealing with the deficit. The $40 million projected deficit never materialized. The City Council never repealed the tax and Keller went on a spending splurge.
Public Safety and reducing the city’s crime rates continue to be the biggest priority of Mayor Tim Keller. So much so that Keller’s Executive Summary went to great length to embellish the preliminary crime statistics for 2022 proclaiming property crime is slightly down compared to 2021 but down 40% from a record high in 2017. The executive summary acknowledged that the city is struggling with homicides related to gun violence and the fentanyl epidemic, but did not disclose the actual numbers.
NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY INITIATIVES
The 2022-2023 approved budget contains funding for neighborhood safety initiatives. Those initiatives and funding are as follows:
Full funding for the Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) program, including hearing officers.
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.
Full funding for emergency board-up activities and the Duke City Ambassador program.
Full investment in youth programs in partnership with APS 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.
$341,000 for temporary contract workers at the City Clerk’s office to work the backlog of Police Inspection of Public Records Act requests.
Recurring funding of $25,000 for Citizen Policing Councils through the Civilian Police Oversight Agency (CPOA).
$500,000 for Park Rangers through the Parks and Recreation Department.
$400,000 for creation of a specialized team in the Planning Department to help manage and control errant properties.
CITY HALL PAY INCREASES
The 2023-2024 budget includes the establishment of a $15 minimum wage for all regular full- and part-time City workers.
The budget includes $16.9 million in salary increases to close gender pay gaps inside city government. That affects about 900 positions and comes just a few months after the city agreed to pay $17 million to settle a years-old collective action lawsuit alleging it paid women more than men for doing the same jobs.
JOBS AND ECONOMY
Other 2020-2024 proposed budget includes investments to support small businesses and community development and includes the following line items:
$1 million of Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) funds, which has helped the City retain and attract businesses like Build with Robots and Bueno Foods.
$500,000 investment in the Job Training Albuquerque (JTA) program, which fills workforce training gaps by offering fully-funded job training opportunities to workers at Albuquerque-based small businesses.
Full, recurring funding for the Small Business Office, which has provided technical assistance to help local businesses access COVID relief programs, navigate permitting processes, and connect to resources for starting up and scaling.
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT
The Fiscal Year 2024 budget continues youth programming by fully funding the Head Start program and our highly successful Youth Connect suite of youth programming.
In 2023, Albuquerque became the first city in the nation to sign onto the Biden Administration’s Justice 40 initiative that prioritizes disinvested communities for certain federal investments including climate change, clean energy, and affordable and sustainable housing. The City will continue to invest in green technologies and infrastructure.
The 2024 Fiscal budget continues sustainability efforts towards achieving the goals set out in the American Climate Cities Challenge and Climate Action Plan. The budget continues the Department of Municipal Development’s (DMD) and Transit’s phasing in of electric vehicles through the City’s replacement of depreciated vehicles and buses.
The newly established General Services Department (GSD) will further citywide efforts at energy efficiency and carbon reduction in City buildings. The city expects to achieve cost and carbon benefits from Solar Direct this year, using 68,194,230 kwh of renewable energy through the program. The Solar Direct program is located on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation and is instrumental for the City’s achievement of receiving 88% of its renewable energy from solar, which is projected to save the City over $600,000 on this year’s energy bill.
FOUR MAJOR DEPARTMENT ANALYSIS
There are 27 major departments at City Hall, but only 4 of the major departments are highlighted to reflect the highlights and priorities of the Keller Administration. The department budgets reviewed in detail are the Albuquerque Police Department (APD), the Albuquerque Fire and Rescue Department (AFRD), the Albuquerque Community Safety Department (ACSD) and the Family and Community Services Department (FCS). The postscript to this blog article gives a very short synopsis of a 11 more department budgets.
You can review all city hall department budgets at this link:
Click to access fy24-proposed-web-version.pdf
ALBUQUERQUE POLICE DEPARTMENT (APD)
The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) continues to be the largest city budget out of 27 departments. The fiscal year 2024 approved General Fund budget is $257 million, a 1% increase from last year or 31% of the general fund. Last year’s 2023 APD’s budget was $255.4 million, which represented a 14.7% increase or $32.8 million above the fiscal year 2022 level.
When Keller first was first elected in 2017 he pledged that APD would have 1,200 officers by the end of his first term. Throughout Keller’s first term, APD has consistently failed to recruit and fill sworn police vacancies and has failed to keep up with yearly retirements.
During the last 4 years, funding has been for 1,100 sworn police each year. Today, APD has 856 sworn officers. APD’s budget line item proposed budget list 1,847 full time positions with funding for 1,040 full-time, sworn police positions and 804 civilian support personnel for the 1,847 full time positions.
Although the 2023-2024 proposed budget includes $8.7 million for a 2% pay raise for all city employees, the exception are APD Police Cadets. APD Police cadets will get a 40% pay increase and be paid $60,000 a year salaries.
The proposed APD budget includes investments in crime fighting technology.
It was on November 14, 2014 that the City of Albuquerque and APD entered into a Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) with the Department of Justice after an investigation found that APD engaged in a pattern of excessive force and deadly force and a culture of aggression. The Fiscal Year 2024 budget provides for operations of the Office of the Superintendent under the CASA, $800,000 for continued compliance efforts under the CASA, funding to pay the federal court appointed federal Independent Monitoring Team, and $1.7 million for External Force Investigation Team (EFIT) created under the settlement.
On Thursday, March 16, 2023 the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) released the 2022 crime statistics along with crime statistics for 2021 for a comparison. APD Chief Harold Medina reported Albuquerque crime statistics as follows:
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS
2022: 12,777 (4% DECREASE)
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY
2022: 43,824 (2% DECREASE)
CRIMES AGAINST SOCIETY
2022: 5,133 (24% INCREASE)
Chief Medina also presented a vertical bar graph that revealed that over the last 6 years, Albuquerque has had a dramatic 71% spike in homicides. In 2017 there were 70 homicides, in 2018 there were 69 homicides, in 2019 there were 80 homicides, in 2020 there were 78 homicides, in 2021 there were 110 homicides and in 2022 there were 120 homicides.
There are 3 major public safety departments. The departments in order of funding size are the Albuquerque Police Department, the Albuquerque Fire Rescue Department and the Albuquerque Community Safety Department.
The links to quoted news source material are here:
APD’s “SOLVING CRIME” PERFORMANCE MEASURES
APD’s 2023-2024 proposed budget include the following performance measures for “solving crime”:
The number of felony arrests made in 2021 were listed as 6,621 and in 2022 that number dropped to 6,122.
The number of misdemeanor arrests made in 2021 were 16,520 and in 2022 that number dropped to 9,799.
The number of DWI arrests made in 2021 were 1,230 and that number increased in 2022 to 1,287.
APD’s clearance rates for crimes against persons (e.g., murder, rape assault) for fiscal year 2021 was 56% and the clearance rate went down in 2023 fiscal year to 44%.
APD’s clearance rate of crimes against property (e.g., robbery, bribery, burglary) for fiscal year was 12% and the clearance rate went down in 2023 fiscal year to 9%.
APD’s clearance rate of crimes against society (e.g., gambling, prostitution, drug violations) for fiscal year 2021 was 77% and the clearance rate went down in 2023 fiscal year to 57%.
APD’s Homicide Clearance rate for fiscal year 2021 was 53% and for 2022 was 71% with a 2023 mid-year rate of 51%.
ALBUQUERQUE FIRE RESCUE DEPARTMENT (AFRD)
The approved Fiscal Year 2024 General Fund budget for the Albuquerque Fire and Rescue Department (AFRD) is $115 million. It reflects an increase of 4.3% or $4.8 million above the Fiscal Year 2023 budget. The AFRD proposed budget contains funding for 817 full time positions. Personnel adjustments include funding of $1.4 million for union negotiated longevity plan as well as an adjustment to overtime of $306 thousand.
The budget contains funding of $1.5 million for a 2% Cost of Living Adjustment, subject to negotiations for union positions and $738 thousand for the employer’s share of the State mandated PERA increase of 0.5%. Funding of $334 thousand is included for the 2024 leap year and $231 thousand to address the interim pay structure.
In addition to serving as first responders to fire, medical, and other emergencies, AFRD manages other programs including the Abandoned and Dilapidated Abatement Property Team (ADAPT) program for properties declared substandard and the Home Engagement and Alternative Response Team (HEART) program for frequent 911 callers.
AFRD WORK LOAD PERFORMANCE MEASURES
AFRD’s 2023-2024 proposed budget include the following work load performance measures:
The number of emergency calls AFRD was dispatched to in the 2021 fiscal year were 106,236 and in the 2022 fiscal year the department was dispatched to 112,651 emergency calls.
The number of medical emergency calls AFRD was dispatched to in 2021fiscal year were 92,022 and in 2022 fiscal year it was dispatched to 99,802 medical emergency calls.
The number of fire calls AFRD was dispatched to in fiscal year 2021 was 14,214 and in the 2022 fiscal year it was dispatched to 12,849 fire calls.
ALBUQUERQUE COMMUNITY SAFETY DEPARTMENT
It was in 2021 that Mayor Tim Keller created the Albuquerque Community Safety Department (ACS). The department provides a non-police response to 911 calls associated with homelessness, intoxication and mental health. The Albuquerque Community Safety Department (ACS) dispatches first responders to 911 calls with or without other first responders from the police and fire departments. According to the departments performance measures, in the 2022-2023, the department responded to 10,619 total calls for service with 6,062 calls diverted from police intervention.
Albuquerque Community Safety responders may have backgrounds as social workers, peer-to-peer support, clinicians, counselors, or similar fields. It is a first-of-its-kind cabinet-level department responding to calls on inebriation, homelessness, addiction, and mental health. It works alongside APD and AFR as a third option for 911 dispatch. It was created from a unique, Albuquerque idea based on programs the City developed and tested with the community.
The Fiscal Year 2024 General Fund budget for Community Safety is $17.2 million, a $5.4 million or 46.1% increase over the Fiscal Year 2023 original budget. Total full-time positions budgeted for the department is 141 with an increase of 8 over last year. Keller’s proposed budget increase would enable 24/7 operations across the city and full funding for the Violence Intervention Program (VIP), including the first phase of School-Based VIP in partnership with APS. The budget also includes $800,000 for the ACS building and Trauma Recovery Center coming-on-line.
FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SERVICE DEPARTMENT HOMELESSNESS, HOUSING AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH INITIATIVES
Since day one of becoming Mayor, Tim Keller has made it a major priority to deal with the city’s homeless crisis. It is the city’s Family and Community Services Department that administers the city’s programs to address the homeless, additional housing, and behavioral health services, including mental health services and counseling.
Mayor Keller has proclaimed an “all above approach” to deal with the unhouse and provide housing and services the homeless and near homeless to address the root causes such as substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence, and youth opportunity.
For five years, Mayor Kellers “all the above approach” has cost the city millions. Keller has done the following over the last two fiscal years:
- Over two years, budgeted $33,854,536 for homeless emergency shelters, support, mental health and substance abuse programs and $60,790,321 for affordable housing programs for the low-income, near homeless.
- Established two 24/7 homeless shelters, including purchasing the Gibson Medical Center for $15 million to convert it into a homeless shelter.
- Established a “no arrest” policy for violations of the city’s camping, trespassing and vagrancy laws with an emphasis on citations.
- For five years, allowed Coronado Park to become a “de facto” city-sanctioned homeless encampment, which he was forced to close down because of drugs and violent crimes.
- Advocated and funded city-sanctioned safe outdoor space (SOS) homeless tent encampments.
The Fiscal Year 2024 General Fund budget for the Family and Community Services Department is $81.9 million, a decrease of 3.9%, or $3.3 million below the Fiscal Year 2023 original budget. The department employs 341 full time employees. Technical adjustments include a $584 thousand increase for the mid-year creates of one community outreach coordinator, one program specialist, one fiscal analyst II, one Gibson Hub facility manager, as well as one gateway systems analyst and one community outreach coordinator that were not inactivated as planned in Fiscal year 2023. The budget decreases $199 thousand for one social service coordinator and one VIP social service program manager that were transferred out to Albuquerque Community Safety Department. The wage adjustment and reclassification for various positions increase the budget by $30 thousand which is offset by decreasing operating costs.
The Fiscals Year 2024 budget for the department’s grants, which is appropriated in separate legislation, are at $4.5 million in the Community Development Fund and $24.3 million in the Operating Grants Fund. This is a combined decrease of $6.4 million from the FY/23 original budget. Funding for all contract types from all funding sources are listed at the end of the department’s narrative. Intra-year personnel changes include four temporary Community Services Program Specialist Assistants created with ARP funds appropriated in Fund 265.
The Family and Community Services proposed budget lists forty five (45) separate affordable housing contracts totaling $39,580,738, fifteen (15) separate emergency shelter contracts totaling $5,575,690, and twenty seven (27) separate homeless support service contracts totaling $5,104,938 for a total of $50,261,366.
The Fiscal Year 2024 Family Community Services budget includes the following line-item funding:
$14 million in non-recurring funding for supportive housing programs in the City’s Housing First model.
$736,000 in non-recurring to fully fund the Assisted Outpatient Treatment program.
$730,000 in recurring and $500,000 in non-recurring funding for a partial year of operating a Medical Sobering Center at Gibson Gateway Homeless Shelter and Health Hub, which will complement the social model sobering facilities available at the County’s CARES campus.
$100,000 in non-recurring for emergency housing vouchers for victims of intimate partner violence.
$1.2 million for Homeless Support Services
$1.7 million for Mental Health for service contracts for mental health,
$200 thousand for 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.
$1.5 million in recurring and $500,000 in non-recurring funding 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.
$3 million in recurring funding to operate the first Gateway Center at the Gibson Health Hub, including revenue and expenses for emergency shelter and first responder drop-off, facility operation and program operations.
$1.2 million for the Westside Emergency Housing Center, which has operated at close to full occupancy for much of the year.
$500,000 non-recurring 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.
$500,000 non-recurring to funding for 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.
$185 thousand for Child and Family Development
$75 thousand for Educational Initiatives
$1,300,000 for Emergency Shelter
$130,000 for Health and Human Services
$103,000 for Strategic Support
$1,200,000for Gateway Phase one and Engagement Center, and a net of $500 thousand for Medical Respite.
Recurring funding of $3,500 million for Family Housing Navigation Center/Shelter (Wellness-2) which has been using non-recurring emergency/COVID funding
Capital Improvement Projects coming-on-line expenses are budgeted to increase by $500,000 for Gateway Homeless Shelter, Phase one, and Engagement Center and $500,000 thousand for the Sobering Center at the Gibson Homeless Shelter Health Hub.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Last year, Mayor Tim Keller declared the proposed budget as being “bland.” What he failed to fully disclose and the city council missed completely during its hearings was that $750,000 was included for the operation of “safe outdoor spaces” with another $200,000 for developing other sanctioned encampment programs for the homeless. Last year’s budget described Safe Outdoor spaces as government sanctioned encampments for the homeless as “ultra-low barrier encampments … set up in vacant dirt lots across the City.”
It was not until months later that the city council changed the zoning laws to allow for “safe outdoor space”. A “safe outdoor space” is defined as a lot, or a portion of a lot, developed to permit homeless encampments with 40 designated spaces for tents, allow upwards of 50 people, require hand washing stations, toilets and showers, require a management plan, fencing and social services offered. Safe Outdoor Spaces proved to be one of the most divisive issues dealt with last year by the council.
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 to us about?”
Other major departments budgets worth noting in the 2023-2024 proposed budget are as follows:
The SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT approved budget contains funding for 542 full time positions. The 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 approved fiscal year budget for the Solid Waste Management Department is $93.9 million, of which $69.9 million is to fund operations and $24 million is in transfers to other funds. The Fiscal year 2024 proposed operating budget for the Solid Waste Management Department reflects an increase of 3.7% or $3.3 million above the Fiscal Year 2023 original budget level.
The DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND CULTURE approved budget contains funding for 411 full time positions. The Department 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 FY/24 proposed General Fund budget for the Department of Arts and Culture of $50.7 million. The approved budget reflects a decrease of $578 thousand or 1.1% below the FY/23 level. Technical adjustments for FY/24 include a net decrease of $194 thousand to account for changes in medical as well as the insurance administrative fee and group life. Other personnel adjustments include funding of $582 thousand for a 2% Cost of Living Adjustments and $134 thousand for the employer’s share of the State mandated PERA increase of 0.5%. Funding of $113 thousand is included
The TRANSIT DEPARTMENT approved budget contains funding for 553 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 2024 approved budget for the Transit Department Operating Fund is $58.2 million, a decrease of 8.5%, or $5.4 million below the Fiscal Year 23 original budget. In Fiscal Year 2024, the budget includes an increase of $557 thousand for a 2% COLA, subject to negotiations for positions associated with a union. There is a State mandated 0.5% PERA increase of $115 thousand for the employer’s share. Technical adjustments include a decrease of $152 thousand for health benefits, insurance administration fee and group life insurance. Internal service costs associated with communication, risk and fleet decreased by a $468 thousand. Funding of $108 thousand for the 2024 leap year and $516 thousand to address the interim pay structure are included.
The PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT approved budget contains funding for 343 full time position. The 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 proposed Fiscal year 2024 General Fund budget is $48.2 million, a decrease of 12.9%, or $7.2 million from the Fiscal Year 2023 original budget.. The primary cause of the decrease was the deletion of $7.1 million in Fiscal Year 2023 one-time funding. Non-recurring Fiscal Year funding of $2.7 million remains in the budget to continue to support the Mondo indoor track, park ranger PSA’s, park security, cycling USAC master’s championship, urban forestry, trails and park maintenance, youth connect summer recreation programs and umpire and other sport referee’s pay increase, to name a few.
The DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT (DMD) approved budget contains funding for 334 full time positions. The Department 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 2024 approved General Fund budget is $38.4 million, a decrease of 4.0% or $1.6 million below the Fiscal Year 2023 original budget is requested. Last year, there were 546 full time positions. The Fiscal Year 2024 Gasoline Tax proposed budget is $6.9 million, a decrease of 1.3% or $89 thousand from Fiscal Year 2023 and includes a transfer to the General Fund in the amount of $248 thousand for indirect overhead. Revenues are estimated at $4.1 million and the fund is subsidized at $2.4 million. The Fiscal Year 2024 Speed Enforcement Fund proposed budget is $2.6 million, a decrease of 66.2% or $5.1 million from Fiscal Year 2023 original budget. The Fiscal Year 20 24 parking enterprise proposed budget of $5.3 million reflects an increase of 2.3% or $121 thousand from the Fiscal Year 2023 original budget. The fleet management fund has a Fiscal Year 2024 proposed budget of $14.7 million.
The GENERAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT (GSD) approved budget contains funding for 257 full time positions. The General Services Department is a new department created last year 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 is responsible 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 2024 approved General Services budget is $27.9 million, a decrease of 28.3% or $11 million below the Fiscal Year 2023 original budget. In Fiscal Year 2024 there is a decrease of $10.4 million in nonrecurring budget for facilities and buildings, security vehicles, startup costs, and a transfer to the railyards.
The PLANNING DEPARTMENT approved budget contains funding for 193 full time positions. The Planning Department’s Fiscal Year 2024 proposed budget is $21 million, a decrease of $1.2 million or 5.3% below the Fiscal Year 2023 original budget. Funding for 193 full time positions is being requested. The budget removes Fiscal Year 2023 one-time funding of $2.3 million, largely earmarked for Posse System replacement, Streamline DRB processes and various other projects. However, $300 thousand remains and is carried over for property abatement. Of that amount, $178 thousand will be transferred to the Refuse Disposal Fund to continue supporting after hour board up activities. The Fiscal Year 2024 proposed budget includes funding of $90 thousand to contract a development hearing officer, and $75 thousand for a contract Posse replacement project manager. Additionally, $401 thousand is added as onetime funding for an extinction team to manage and control the errant properties.
It was in last years fiscal year 2022-2023 city council approved budget was for $21.9 million, an increase of $5.2 million or 31.6% above the fiscal year 2022 original budget. The planning department was to add 21 new positions, including 10 “to streamline and expedite” development review processes, and new departmental software. In Code Enforcement, 8 positions were 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 Legal Department or City Attorneys Office approved budget contains funding for 66 full time positions. 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 proposed Fiscal Year 2024 General Fund budget is $8.4 million, a decrease of 13.1% over the Fiscal Year 2023 original budget.
The OFFICE OF THE CITY CLERK approved budget contains funding for 34 full time employees. 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 proposed Fiscal Year 2023-2024 General Fund budget is $5.1 million, an increase of 18.5%, or $804 thousand above the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year original budget with funding requested for 34 full time employees.
The Chief Administrative Office Department approved budget contains funding for 16 full time employees. The Chief Administrative Office Department supports the Mayor of the City of Albuquerque and general city functions. The approved FY/24 General Fund budget for the Chief Administrative Office is $2.8 million, an increase of 12.4% or $305 thousand above the FY/23 original level.
The Mayor’s Office approved budget contains funding for 7 full time employees. The office supports the elected chief executive and ceremonial head of the City pursuant to the City Charter. The office is comprised of support staff and constituent services that keep the Mayor in touch with residents of Albuquerque and their concerns. The approved Fiscal Year 2024 General Fund budget for the Mayor’s Office is $1.2 million, a decrease of 15.9% or $229 thousand from the Fiscal Year 2023 original budget.
Other much smaller budgeted city departments include Senior Affairs, the Human Resources Department, 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 229 page 2022-2023 budget to review all city department budgets is here:
Click to access fy24-proposed-web-version.pdf