ABQ gets trashed while city employees make bank - Albuquerque Journal

ABQ gets trashed while city employees make bank

… In the past few days I’ve been reminded multiple times by Solid Waste that my neighborhood needs to have made arrangements with them as “Company is Coming” and we need to clean up our neighborhood. Then I’ve been told the Albuquerque Police Department is going to work on solving the 911 Call Center problems by hiring more dispatchers. And, to make it even more outstanding, Police Chief Harold Medina has been able to “find the money” for these new hires since we don’t have all the officers they’ve budgeted for. Lastly, Parks & Recreation is telling me they need me to “volunteer” to clean up their property. …

I’m confused. Mayor Tim Keller has somehow “found the money” to hire an additional 266 “unclassified” employees, with roughly 55 earning over $100,000 per year. These 55 individuals equal $5.5 million in our taxpayer money. But the city – Solid Waste, APD, Parks & Recreation, etc. – doesn’t seem to have the money to pay people enough to do the more intensive jobs. I’m not talking the cushy jobs of communication, public relations, inter-office liaisons, etc. I’m talking jobs that really, and I mean really, need to be done and make a visible and proactive impact on the city. Yes, cleaning up the trash we pay Solid Waste to do. Yes, answering those emergency/non-emergency calls. And taking care of the open spaces we taxpayers paid to purchase. Not the most exciting work, but very, very important work.

It’s not that I’m … not aware of the challenges facing Albuquerque. But I really have a hard time accepting Keller hiring people, at high money, who aren’t going to do the work down in the trenches. You and I, the taxpayer, are being asked to clean up some of the nastier elements of trash in this city and again do without a law enforcement response because APD can’t seem to answer its own emergency phone lines or take care of business. Those handsomely paid exempt employees need to get down in the trenches and get this work done. Keller expects me to do this. Well, I expect city leadership, and I mean all of them, to do the same and more. After all, they’re paid by us.

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