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Pretty Much Says it All

A recent Albuquerque Journal article looks at the campaign claims of the three candidates running for mayor. What’s most striking are the failures of incumbent Mayor Marty Chavez and the weak attempts at spinning his actual track record.

Mayor Chavez has increased spending at a budget busting rate during his tenure in office. An indisputable fact, that has been well documented over the years and is made equally clear in the Journal article:

Albuquerque’s general-fund spending stood at roughly $325 million in the 2002 fiscal year, when Ch├ívez returned to office. (He has won mayoral elections in 1993, 2001 and 2005.)

This year’s general-fund budget totals about $475 million. That’s a 46 percent increase from 2002.

Well, clear to anyone other than Mayor Chavez:

“Fiscally, I’ve been very conservative,” the mayor said

Let’s be real here. Mayor Chavez may be fiscally creative, but fiscally conservative he is not:

A sizeable chunk of Albuquerque’s property-taxing authority has been switched from the capital program to the general-fund budget since 2003. The change provides about $48 million in annual revenue now, around 10 percent of the operating budget.

The result of this creativity?

The report, issued earlier this year by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation officials, said 36 percent of the Albuquerque area’s roads are in poor condition, 18th worst among urban areas with a population exceeding 500,000. The analysis looked at cities and their surrounding suburbs, based on 2007 data.

Just another reason to say, “Enough already with politics as usual.”