Thursday, July 09, 2009

City Finances

All indications are that the city financial condition is worsening. I have seen numbers that are truly frightening and makes me think some horrendous decisions will have to be made. Of course, you wont hear anything about this until after the election. The problem has been building over the last 7 years with recurring revenues falling behind recurring costs. Add the recession and disaster occurs.

After the election we will probably hear more than we want too. It will be interesting to see how this house of cards is being held together. Are restricted funds being raided to meet operating expenses?

Take for instance the Risk Management fund which pays out money when the city loses a lawsuit. One long running case involving down zoning of property near Winrock Shopping Center by the City Council in the first Chavez administration has been decided.(This was not Mayor Chavez's fault.)

I had attempted to settle it when I took office, but the city council did not want to admit they screwed up. That 12 year old lawsuit that I could have settled for 2.5 million dollars has now been finally decided by the New Mexico Supreme Court for over 8 million, with some indications that it could go to 12 million or more. Does the city have enough in the Risk Fund to cover this?

Maybe this could be a campaign issue, but the electorate seems to be more than a little apathetic about this upcoming campaign. That means the candidate who gets out their vote will win.

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