Time for Taxpayers, Tea Partiers to Step Up on Albuquerque Budget

If you haven’t been following the debate over Albuquerque’s budget, government employee unions are winning. The debate is over whether to cut the employee pay by about 3% as Mayor Berry has proposed or whether to raise taxes or embark on some other hare-brained schemes (like looking for precious metals in local landfills…why don’t they do this on their own time?) proposed by the unions.

Unfortunately, if public outcry is any indicator, the unions are the only ones paying attention. At the first budget hearing on Thursday, April 22, hundreds of city workers and union representatives packed the council chambers. The chambers were filled to capacity with overflow – probably over 400 people were there. 39 people signed up for public comment and most opposed the mayors proposal and expressed anger at any cuts. They encouraged a raise in taxes to “spread the burden to all city taxpayers.” Only one person out of 39 spoke on behalf of fiscal responsibility and protecting private citizens. This person was shouted out of the chambers by the crowd!

There were no tea party representatives and almost no voice for “limiting government, constraining government spending and taxation, and advancing a free market economy”. Unfortunately, I was out of town at one of two annual meetings I attend.

Albuquerque is the largest city in the state. When it comes to the cause that the tea party and all of us are working for I believe that this is the epicenter of our fight. If we (including the tea party) say we are in the fight, but are not fighting in this battle, then I believe we are not in the fight at all.

The next budget hearing is May 6th at 5:00 p.m at Council Chambers downtown. People can sign up for public comment if they arrive and sign up before 4:30 p.m. Hopefully the Albuquerque Tea Party and concerned citizens will make their voices heard before it is too late.