Wednesday, December 04, 2013

An Outsider Or Insider As New APD Chief? Plus: How Berry Can Make APD Better In His 2nd Term, And: Guv. Martinez Sexism Charge Over National Article Draws Reaction  

Mayor Berry's second term opened with the wrong kind of bang--another police shooting that left a suspect in critical condition.

Berry will soon have to decide whether the culture at APD is so damaged that it merits bringing in an outsider as the new police chief to replace Ray Schultz, but City Hall watchers say there are signs that Berry is leaning toward naming interim Chief Allen Banks--a 21 year member of APD--as the permanent chief.

Readers like Richard Flores want Berry to make a break with the past:

Although Allen Banks appears to be one of the "nice guys" at APD, and although he handled the recent shooting spree admirably, we should not forget that he is and has been part of the APD management team that has failed to effectively address internally the rash of police shootings we have witnessed, and will potentially pay for (with our hard earned tax dollars) as the courts continue to litigate lawsuits brought against the city. 

The mayor has hired a national search firm to recruit candidates to lead the troubled department which is under investigation for possible civil rights violations over the many police shootings--fatal and otherwise--that have plagued the department.

But Berry is getting lobbied by the African-American community to name Banks as the first African- American APD chief.

(We said in a first blog draft Tuesday that a Sunday police shooting had taken place a day after Berry was sworn in for his second term. Actually, it happened the same day.)


We asked retired APD Seargent Dan Klein, who for a number of years has been watching APD matters for us, to come with his top recommendations for the mayor to have a better police department than he had in his first term:

 First, sign the order bringing back the veteran officer retention bonus. This will stop around 20 or more retirements slated for December 31. Second, do away with the college requirement, or amend it to allow another path for applicants. Allow a 25 year old with a solid work history and no debt to apply with APD. APD is looking for maturity and with age comes maturity. Amend the college requirement now.  Third, work something out with the APOA (union). If Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry can get a 22% raise we should be able to work with the APOA. 

Fourth, hold the command staff at APD accountable for the actions of APD. Look at the news reports and the lawsuits from the last few years. Clearly, something is wrong with the culture at APD and Mayor Berry needs to ditch the nice guy image and start playing hardball with people at APD who think adultery is just “nature at play” and crime scene security applies to everyone but them. Hold the command staff accountable..

Klein has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.


Push back now on Governor Martinez's assertion that the National Journal piece on her and political adviser Jay McCleskey was sexist and racist.

Democrat Duffy Rodriguez who worked for Martinez in the Dept. of Finance and Administration penned an op-ed for the ABQ Journal supporting the argument, but reader and Democrat Theresa Trujeque says the Governor needs to look at her own actions before leveling such charges:

As a Hispanic woman, I find it incredulous that Governor Martinez is saying that the article smacks of racism and sexism. Let me see, was it not Governor Martinez, the first female Governor of New Mexico who abolished the Commission on the Status of Women? That office helped low-income Hispanic women find good paying jobs and offered them the training to go out in the workforce. 

 Also, isn't she the Hispanic Governor who wants to abolish driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants? Was it not the Secretary of State--getting orders from the Governor's office--who claimed that the state voter file was full of those same illegal immigrants? They may not have said illegal immigrants but that was what they implied. 

 So racism and sexism? I think not. She needs to look at her actions before she starts laying those claims on others.

The Guv's office also called the National Journal article "a tabloid piece," to which we responded that the National Journal is not the National Enquirer. And a reader chimes in:

Joe, About your reference to the National Enquirer. Remember, it was the Enquirer that broke the love child scandal  about would-be President John Edwards. And long before that they broke the news of  the scandal about Gary Hart's extra martial affairs--another would-be president. Not bad for a tabloid. 

Not bad at all.

Reader Jeff Varela gets the final word on all this:

Does Duffy really think that we believe that Gov. Martinez was the creator of "the historic and complicated tax bill" passed in the 2013 legislative session? She also draws comparisons with President Obama and his use of political advisers. Please, Martinez is not on that stage yet! And if Jay McCleskey is "smart, honest, and provides invaluable insight" then he shouldn't need a government bureaucrat like Duffy Rodriguez to defend his prized pupil, Governor Martinez.


It's not sexism the state's chief executive has to worry about. It is the incessant drumbeat of sour economic news that trails her wherever she goes. The latest:

According to CoreLogic, New Mexico was the only state to show a decline in home prices from October 2012 through October 2013. The firm’s Home Price Index said including distressed sales, New Mexico home prices fell 0.5 percent. Excluding distressed sales, the state’s home prices rose 3.1 percent. Nationally, the average home price increased 12.5 percent including distressed sales, and was up 11 percent excluding distressed sales.

Not much about economics is simple, but some things are. Decent paying jobs create demand for houses. Demand for houses increases prices.

You don't need a degree from the John Arthur Smith Deming School of Economics to know that.


Tourism Sec. Jacobson
The state may be looking unattractive to those seeking to move in here and set up businesses, but the Tourism Department says it is still attractive for those wanting a quick visit. The problem? Not many of those visitors want to come back a second time:

Just under 30 percent of New Mexico visitors last year said they intended to return. That’s compared with nearly 48 percent of tourists in Colorado, Arizona and Utah who say they intend to return to those states. These figures are based on surveys by Longwoods International. Two major sets of New Mexico tourists--young people and people from California--have low rates of “intend to return.”

We and others banged the table to get an increase in the state tourism advertising budget. We got it and it appears to have worked some, but we still lag neighboring states.

If an examination of the tourism department's numbers don't call into question their accuracy, tourism secretary Jacobson would seem in fairly good shape to win another increase in the state advertising budget. The hundreds of small businesses and their employees that depend on visitors are watching closely.

Meanwhile, what can the state do to assist in providing a better tourist experience so out-of-state visitors so they will want a second round of enchantment?

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