in this morning's Albuquerque Journal (yes you will need to log in or use the "Free Trial" link on that page to read the article) notes:
"About a week after the city election, a handful of city employees received pay raises, including a 67 percent bump for an aide to the mayor. Scott Forrester, an assistant to Mayor Martin Chávez, whose term ends Nov. 30, saw an increase in his annual salary from roughly $48,000 a year to a little under $80,000, officials said. An information technology official got a 48 percent raise, while an attorney in the Legal Department was moved elsewhere and got an 8 percent hike. "
All this while the rest of the City is under hiring freezes and various other cost cutting measures. As noted elsewhere in the article, Forrester has been acting Chief of Staff for several weeks, filling in for Bianca Ortiz-Wertheim who left the Mayor's office, so he may well deserve a pay increase. And increasing Forrester's pay still left him below the previous pay rate for the departed Ortiz-Wertheim, so the net result is a budget reduction. Indeed, for that matter all the pay increases may have been entirely merit based and warranted, that's not what bothers me.
What bothers me is the timing of the increases to come after the election
is clearly, transparently, blatantly political rather than anything to do with merit. The raises were held until after the election to avoid being a strike against Chavez before the election, in a time where the push is to reduce or hold steady City costs.
Hope you don't plan on running for any other State or local offices in the future, Marty. making one of your last acts as Mayor to put politics ahead of the needs of the City by timing announcements like this might be remembered by the tiny percentage of Albuquerque residents who actually participate in elections.