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Mayor Keller Ends Week with Budget Outline, Legislative Action

Provides action plan for budget challenges, signs new Emergency Declaration, vetoes Council Resolution R-20-32

April 17, 2020

Today, Mayor Tim Keller and the City of Albuquerque’s Chief Financial Officer Sanjay Bhakta gave an update on the City’s budget position amid affects from COVID-19 and laid out an action plan for the City, its employees, and the public. The City is taking action now to try to avoid the furloughs and layoffs many other cities are facing.

To date, the City has identified a cost savings of $10 million dollars including department-level costs, limiting hiring and prohibiting travel. Albuquerque is joining cities across the country to advocate for loss of revenue replacement from the federal CARES Act funding and has already secured federal revenue replacement funding for the Transit and Aviation Departments. The City is also exploring the option of responsibly accessing funding from its General Fund Reserve. View the budget presentation by clicking here.

At the briefing, Mayor Keller also signed his fourth Declaration of Emergency. The mayor has issued three emergency declarations since the beginning of the public health crisis, to cancel City events, implement electronic signatures, accelerate construction projects, reinforce State health orders, and request funding from the State of New Mexico and federal government, among other things. The fourth declaration puts the same provisions in effect for a period of the next 30 days. Read the fourth Declaration of Emergency by clicking here.

Mayor Keller also released the attached letter, delivered this morning to the City Council and appropriate clerks, following his veto of R-20-32. The bill would have set up a committee to meet, debate, consider, and vote on their recommendations on the best ways to spend funding from the federal government. In the message, the mayor outlines concerns about the separation of powers fundamental to the City’s Charter, the exclusion of the majority of Council members, and the serious delay an added layer of bureaucracy would create for reimbursement of funds. As an alternative the mayor offered to use a combination of the Council’s Committee of the Whole and a series of Study Committees to provide timely and transparent discussion and appropriations. It is the second veto of the Keller Administration, following the veto of subsidies to out of state corporation Top Golf.  View the Mayor’s letter by clicking here.