The Piercing Truth

This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes

Jun 1, 2009

Eye Told You: County Bondage

It only took four months, but there it was on the front page of the Albuquerque Journal - "What to Do with the Debt?" It's a story we told you about back in February (read it here). In August of 2008, the county commission at the urging of County Manager Thaddeus Lucero authorized the purchase of 500 Marquette for a mere $42 MILLION.

Before the echo had died on the 4 to 1 vote (Commissioner Brasher dissenting), the county had issued $42 MILLION in bonds to cover the purchase. The problem is they never bought the building.

After reading today's Albuquerque Journal story (Subscription) you probably were left thinking that the county was almost making money on the $42 MILLION debt. Readers were treated to a fair example of governmental sleight of hand. One part of the article claims that we're paying an annual interest rate of 3.8%, but thanks to our investment wizards we're recapturing 3.7% annually.
County Treasurer Patrick Padilla estimated the money is earning interest income of around 3.7 percent. The interest the county pays on the debt is 3.8 percent.

Lucero said the overall impact on taxpayers has been minimal, given that the estimated investment income is close to the debt payment due this year.
Separated by a page, over a dozen paragraphs, and a couple of assurances readers (and taxpayers) finally got to the bottom line.
It's difficult to say exactly how much the $42 million will earn because it's invested in a variety of ways, along with other county money, officials said.

"It's really mixed in with all the other investments," Deputy County Manager Dan Mayfield said.
In other words, either the county doesn't know how much they're losing or they just aren't willing to say. We'd bet the latter.

There's only one thing worse than buying an unneeded $42 MILLION building - not buying a $42 MILLION building and having to pay for the bond council, interest rates, and fees.

It doesn't matter how you look at it, Bernalillo County is losing money... our money because they acted without thinking and left us holding the bonds.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

The County Commission is a joke. That is why a majority of the Commission is willing to abandon their constituents in the middle of a term. At least Archuleta left her seat for a promotion. The other two are termed out and they want to knock on doors and ask voters to allow them to quit. They are willing to let the Gov appoint 3 out of 5 Commissioners.

If you think 500 Marquette is bad, the County will be worse than UNM if the Governor gets three appointments.

I bet the Governor will start taking an interest in County contracts if he gets 2 more appointments. He can use the kick backs to pay for his defense attorneys.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of the county commission either, with the exception of MIchael Brasher. Brasher is the most solid fiscal conservative we have at the local level on either the commission, or the council.

The question we all have to ask is whether it's a good trade to replace a Chavez councilor with a conservative for the next 4 years on the council in exchange for allowing a Governor appointee to serve for a few months on the commission? I think so.

Anonymous said...

The County spent millions of dollars to provide infrastructure to land owned by a fellow Commissioner. They called it economic development but the jobs vanished when the car company stayed in California. They spent millions on a theater in Nob Hill that is still not open.

They spend tax dollars as if it is Monopoly money. What’s next, the County will invest the $42 million once designated for 500 Marquette in GM?

Anonymous said...

Brasher should think about the voters that put him into office. More than a year is not a few months. Obama has spent trillions of dollars in 100 days or just more than 3 months. Obama has already bought banks, car manufacturers, and he is now shopping or health insurance.

If this is the damage Obama can cause in 100 days, than imagine what Richardson will do if the Governor appoints replacements for Archuleta, Armijo, and Brasher. He will control the commission for more than a year. Archuleta’s replacement is there and Armijo and Brasher want to give the Governor the seat they occupy.

Obama has broken the national bank in 100 days. If 100 days seems like an eternity, imagine four times the number of days. Richardson will control the Commission for four times the amount of time we have lived under Obama’s socialist government.

What is the excess taxing capacity of the Commission? We need to know the answer to that question before Richardson rules the largest county in the state without any checks on his power.

We all know Richardson will raise taxes by millions to enrich is cronies as the sun sets on his political career. We cannot hand over the County to Richardson for 400 days.

Anonymous said...

Somehow I believe APD will get blamed for this.

Anonymous said...

How about electing Brasher to City Council where he's not outnumbered 4-1 and leaving lame duck Armijo at BernCo, where he can at least do less fiscal damage to the majority of area residents? Also, the first commentor neglects to mention that the governor's appointees would face an election in 2010.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Brasher was the ONLY Commissioner who voted 'no' on this $$$$$$ purchase. Am I right or am I right?

Anonymous said...

Keep those county guys off the city council. It's funny how they like to bounce back and forth.

Anonymous said...

A few months? It's over a year folks. How many taxes can the County Commission raise in one year (tip, it has a lot more unused taxing capacity than the City)? And once raised taxes last forever.

And a Chavez Councillor? The guy, Harris, who stopped the street car two years ago, and just voted to override the Mayor's veto on the issue just a couple weeks ago? Gimme a break. Stop giving Brasher a pass for trying to walk out on his job.

Anonymous said...

I do not understand why the first time I read this blog entry the name Brasher was not part of the story?

Monday night there was no comments. After comments were posted, the author changed the words because the blog and the comments were damaging to people the eye did not intend to hit.

Is this blog pushing for the Governor?

It seems your readers are concerned about our corrupt Governor taking control of the Commission and you want to provide cover for a Commissioner who wants to quit.

The eye needs write about the problems associated with the Governor appointing members to the Commission or risk a loss of credibility. Other, more credible sources, are reporting on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Don is the Mayors boy, how do you explain the Mayor having a fund raiser for Don a few months ago and how Don switch’s his votes whenever it helps the mayor. (Streetcar anyone)You make it sound like Don is on the frontline keeping the Mayor in line, but you must think we are so stupid to think the Mayor and Don don’t talk and see how Don can vote on some items that will MAKE it appear he is at odds with the Mayor and vote on the things the Mayor really needs. Another 4 years of Don is another four years of wasted time and space.

Anonymous said...

Brasher was the only elected offical to vote no on the $42 million dollar bond.

Anonymous said...

If Harris voted for the streetcar, copy and past the links. The link below shows he voted against a tax increase for the train.

O-06-49
http://cabq.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=249584&GUID=B5DAC306-35C3-451C-9D62-F94430813873&Search=Street+Car&Options=ID|Text|

Below is a story from the trib that expains the process, and it identifies the Counilors resposible, Harris included, for the demise of the streetcar.
http://www.abqtrib.com/news/2006/nov/21/streetcar-backers-will-seek-voters-approval/

"On Nov. 6, the council voted 6-3 to retool and extend a quarter-percent gross receipts tax to help pay for the streetcar.

The tax extension brought a revenue stream to the table, but the plan all along had been to use the money to issue bonds worth much more. The city administration had planned to ask the council to allow that on Dec. 4.

But while the council can impose a tax with a simple majority vote, seven of nine votes are needed to give the mayor permission to issue bonds.

And there's the rub: The three councilors who opposed the tax extension - Don Harris, Michael Cadigan and Brad Winter - said Monday they would stick to their opposition." Trib

People want facts and that is what any person who claims Harris supports the streetcar lacks.

Anonymous said...

Harris's votes on the streetcar are perfect, all no's. Stop lying, look them up. The only reason why the $400 million streetcar is not under constuction now is because of Harris; he did not merely vote against something that passed anyway--the story of Brasher's ineffective career. The Mayor had a fund raiser to make up for his involvement in the recall attempt which went down in flames. Anyone who thinks the Mayor and Harris are BFFs are grasping for straws.

Anonymous said...

Several councilors have aided in slowing the streetcar. The Mayor's commitment is clear; the council seems to like "studies" (e.g., R-06-154, O-07-71) that fritter taxpayers' money instead of standing up and killing the proposal. There have been enough studies. The 21st Century Transportation Task Force, chaired by trolley-promoter Isaac Benton, was less than enthused (except for the "anything on rails is good" members. Portland is proving the inefficiency of heavy/light rail and streetcars--presentation by John Charles (Portland analyst and Oregon legislator) last night showed some economic facts that should "educate" councilors.

Anonymous said...

Harris is still an idiot who kisses up to Smarty!

Anonymous said...

Forget everthing else build another memorial that all the people in this state like is memorials. They fight everthing else.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really care about taxes? The feds are given away billions, who cares. Who'll pay it back. I thought it was sick when I saw the money being spent on the war. That was nothing.

Anonymous said...

Was Brasher with Armijo at Aragon's party going away party? Basher’s old pal Shannon Robinson, Mr. Rugby, was with Armijo.

Commissioners Brasher and Armijo celebrating with old senator friends Aragon and Robinson must have brought back memories.

wasteful said...

I think we should spend $300,000, oops, I mean $800,000 on some more towers. Like the ones at Rio Grande & I-40 that you can’t even see from the freeway. Or how ‘bout more manhole covers, or bicycle street signs, or expensive wraps for city vehicles, or bumper stickers. Marty must have a pal (crony) who owns a sign company.

Anonymous said...

Don Harris and Manny Aragon - both guilty of ethics violations while in office.

Anonymous said...

All I know is Brasher was at my door last night asking for me to sign his petition for city council and I made sure to walk him around to my friends. We need him because he has never voted for a tax or fee increase in over seventeen years. Don can not say that.

Anonymous said...

One guy steals tax dollars and his buddies celebrate his crimes at a local restaurant.

The other guys work hard to better the lives of those who live in their districts.

The Commissioners wants to abandon the word they gave to the people.

Walking away from a job to stay in office will destroy reputations.

Anonymous said...

No, Brasher was most definitely NOT at Manny's party! I know because he was out collecting signatures and I spoke to him that night. Shame on the previous commentor for suggesting such a thing. Must be Harris' or his campaign manager digging helplessly for any mud they can sling.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Alan Armijo who was at Manny's Going-Away party (invitation only-no reporters)? THAT same Alan Armijo? I guess he wanted some Manny tips on how to screw the taxpapers!

Anonymous said...

Read below and ask why two Commissioners want to give the Gov the opportunity to appoint a person to their seat. Armijo and Brasher are a disgrace.

Maggie HART Stebbins

Daughter of Fredrick M. Hart former dean of Law School who wrote editorial on how Manny was such a great guy and got a raw deal.

Sister of F. Michael Hart III "Mike Hart" someone should look at all his connections in the city and state. Good friend of Nick Bakas (anyone know who he is....)

Sister of Andrew Hart- Hart construction friend of Marc Schiff (more city and state connections)built police stations and other city contracts. Maybe a Court house too. Hasn't his name come up before?

Oh and by the way didn't Maggie work for Lawrence Rael at MRCOG...

Too many questions here WOW Thanks again Big BILL

Anonymous said...

LETTERMAN IS AN ASSHOLE...
SUCH A PUSSY.
HAS FANTACIES ABOUT 14 YEAR OLD GIRLS

Anonymous said...

The most profitable business in this state is selling crime scene tape. After all, the governor made this year the year of the criminal. NO MORE DEATH PENALTY

Anonymous said...

boycott letterman! sick basterd

Anonymous said...

Letterman's comments about Sarah Palin's daughter are abhorrent. Don Imus was fired for his inappropriate comments. Why is CBS not following a consistent path and terminating its relationship with Letterman? This matter is not a dispute between Palin and Letterman, as much of the media suggests; this is about Letterman's misconduct. He should be fired.

Further, where is the president and Michelle Obama in this? They should forcefully rebuke Letterman for his statements. Imagine the uproar if his "joke" was directed towards Michelle Obama or her children.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment that President Obama and the majority in Congress are on a wasteful spending spree under the guise of an urgent need for fiscal stimulus. This will burden those Americans paying taxes for years to come. Unfortunately, this comes at the heals of a trillion dollar war, arguably not worth the cost in terms of dollars or casualties to Americans, and also to be paid for by future taxpayers.

Now more than ever we need prudent government spending. We need to turn the tide against the increasing burden of government on its citizens. Michael Brasher has been a strong voice and a consistent leader in the promotion of efficient and effective government and wise spending. He has consistently voted against efforts by other to increase taxes to fund monuments and other pet projects. Unfortunately, term limits will prevent Michael from seeking another term on the County Commission (where I would vote for his reelection if it were possible) and the window to serve on the City Council opens just once every four years. I am hopeful he will turn his good management of government and sound judgment towards the city council where it is sorely needed.

Anonymous said...

Poor little commissioners, they are termed out, and they still want to play. I am sure they will kick and scream when they spend 2010 breaking what is left at 100 John Dantis Drive SW.

Anonymous said...

Poor little commissioners, they are termed out, and they still want to play. I am sure they will kick and scream when they spend 2010 breaking what is left at 100 John Dantis Drive SW.

Anonymous said...

Poor little commissioners, they are termed out, and they still want to play. I am sure they will kick and scream when they spend 2010 breaking what is left at 100 John Dantis Drive SW.