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Mayor Tim Keller Vetoes Topgolf Ordinance; Says We Can Do Better

Mayor Keller vetos an ordinance approving funding for Topgolf.

July 2, 2018

Mayor Tim Keller has vetoed O-18-19, the ordinance passed by City Council approving funding for the entertainment venue Topgolf. The City Council passed the ordinance June 18, 2018 with an 8-1 vote.

On June 15, 2018, the mayor vetoed a resolution (R-18-28) passed by City Council expressing support for the project and approving funding for the project from the general fund.

This project raised concerns from the Administration, the City Economic Development department, and the Albuquerque Development Commission (ADC), particularly about the amount of incentives the project was set to receive as well as the lack of protections for taxpayer funding usually included.

 “From the beginning, we have expressed our desire to welcome Topgolf, but this project failed to meet our criteria for growing the local economy and creating good-paying jobs. While we were able to improve the deal, we’re still not there yet,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “This deal also sends the wrong signal that we are prioritizing out-of-state companies over similar local efforts, and that a company can end run an independent professional vetting process through a political process. It’s our job to protect taxpayers, and I know that we can do it better. We want to work together and take the time to get this right,” continued Mayor Keller.

To ensure the City is investing in the right types of projects to build the economy, the City’s Economic Development Department has established criteria to measure new projects seeking city incentives. The criteria will guide new economic development initiatives, as well as establish focus on homegrown local and small businesses.