ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As usual, there’s way more going on at City Hall than I can fit in the paper. Let’s hit the bullet points:
- Chris Baca, executive director of Youth Development Inc., makes about $272,000 a year, according to testimony at Monday’s council finance committee. The question came up as Councilor Michael Cadigan questioned YDI about the effectiveness of its social-service programs. Baca disclosed his salary, then asked Cadigan to disclose his. Cadigan, a commercial-litigation attorney, said only that it’s “less than that,” referring to Baca’s pay.
- Cadigan and a City Council staffer questioned whether YDI is providing all the information it’s required to under city contracts. YDI said it is, city officials said it wasn’t.
- Lots of teenagers turned out at Monday’s meeting to speak in defense of their social-service programs, such as a YDI anti-gang initiative and a teen center called “Warehouse 508.” Two high-school students also urged the city to avoid cuts in bus service.
- The city is one of only about 12 municipalities in the country with a “AAA” bond rating, according to city executives.
- The economic activity that drives gross-receipts taxes was absolutely terrible in November, the beginning of the shopping season. It was down 11 percent from the previous November. City executives don’t know yet whether it was just a one-month blip or if revenue will stay that far down when December’s numbers are available.
- The next budget year for the city could be even worse than what’s going on now. A new police union contract includes big pay raises for next year at the same time city revenue is dwindling. That could mean “we’re going to have to make real cuts” in other spending, said Anna Lamberson, the city’s chief financial officer.