Soon to be ex-Mayor Marty holds pay increases until after City election.

An article 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.

Views: 8

Comment by Lauren on October 21, 2009 at 6:52pm
Amazing. And this type of thing is exactly why he didn't get my vote.
Comment by Robert S. on October 21, 2009 at 8:38pm
hopefully berry cans those employees or has the power to reverse the raises after he gets into office.
Comment by Ben Roberts on October 21, 2009 at 8:45pm
That wasn't really the point I was trying to make. I don't see those employees as deserving of punishment for Marty's political machinations.
Comment by abqmom on October 22, 2009 at 7:32am
this junk just keeps happening and we are powerless to stop it...Marty and pretty much the entire government knows it.
Comment by Oliver on October 22, 2009 at 8:24am
While this looks bad, for sure, could it be that we're making mountains out of molehills? It's not like these people will continue to serve under Berry. If not, they'll enjoy these raises for at most a few weeks, then have to hit the bricks.

Or is there more to this issue that I haven't noticed?
Comment by Masshole in Fringecrest on October 22, 2009 at 8:57am
Actually, the article said that some of these employees had language in their contracts that prevented them from being terminated during the transition (i'm thinking of the IT guy, specifically). Time will tell.
Comment by Robert S. on October 22, 2009 at 11:33am
good news is that transition is over on December 1st so it's fair game after then to determine the worth/loyalty of those employees to Berry's administration.

If people are worried about putting people ahead of politicis in a lame-duck situation, the city and voters should approve an amendment that freezes salaries during a transition time or have the city council approve raises of certain positions to keep a mayor from rewarding his cronies since city government has too many employees to approve all raises.
Comment by ramon t on October 22, 2009 at 8:54pm
These raises smell really bad. Though I have to say the IT folks with the city and APS are woefully underpaid. I have received several calls over the past few years from the City and APS inquiring if I would be interested in open positions. Once salaries were discussed I had to bow out because their pay bands were 50% to 70% of what people in similar positions in the private sector are compensated. ..
Comment by SweetCaroline on October 24, 2009 at 7:24pm
These positions were 'at will' of Mayor Marty. These new raises he handed out at the last minute help boost their retirement through PERA because their retirement pay is based upon their last salary amount.

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