Reducing Crime and Reforming APD
The crime wave that has been happening in Albuquerque is intolerable, unacceptable and must be reversed. Police estimate that there are anywhere between 300 and 500 burglaries each and every month. Something must be done to restore safety and security.
First, we must change the leadership of the police department. The police chief is not doing the job, and he must go. The upper management of the police department also needs to be reviewed, individually, and changes must be made there, as well.
Our police department is understaffed and underfunded. Fully funding the police department should be the #1 priority in the city’s budget. Ricardo wants more police on the beat, but also will insist that all wasteful spending be cut from the police department’s budget. More officers on the beat means quicker response times to crimes, less crime in our neighborhoods, and less criminals on our streets.
When conducting a search for a new chief, Ricardo will restrict the search to those outside of the current structure of the police department. This nationwide search must find someone who is a qualified, capable leader who is also outside of the department and who is beholden to no one. Once these changes are made, Ricardo will ask the US Justice Department to remove its oversight of APD, and to allow our local leadership to make the necessary changes needed to lead to a better, more responsive police force.
No Sanctuary City Status for the Duke City
Ricardo Chaves is completely opposed to making Albuquerque a “Sanctuary City.” Government is supposed to uphold the law, and it’s illegal to be in Albuquerque without going through the legal immigration process. Ricardo believes we must not give those here illegally a “pass” to continue to commit crimes. Ricardo will ask APD to run background checks through ICE when they have been booked into jail after arrest. This should be the standard procedure for a police department whose duty is to protect our citizens.
Creating a Better Climate for More Albuquerque Jobs
Albuquerque’s economy is in a death spiral. Cutting the tax burden on our citizens, and eliminating regulations for businesses, will spur economic growth, attract companies, and create jobs. Albuquerque is ready to grow if we can just get the city government bureaucracy out of the way. No one in the private sector wants to build here anymore. Small businesses aren’t moving here anymore. It seems like the only buildings being built are by the city government, all at taxpayer expense. This has to change.
Stopping the Spending Spree at City Hall
Reducing red tape, unnecessary fees, and unfair regulations will allow people to more easily start businesses and will let current ones grow faster. Ricardo will aggressively seek out ways to save money and cut waste from the city bureaucracy.
The current mayor and city council has continued to spend money recklessly while citizens and businesses are fleeing the city. Less tax money coming in means we should be spending less at city hall. As a successful small businessman, Ricardo understands that and will make the necessary changes to the budget to make sure Albuquerque citizens are getting the best use of their tax dollars.
Balancing the City Budget
Currently, our city budget is $600 million. City government spends too much of the taxpayer’s money! Ricardo expects to cut the city budget by 10% by identifying waste, fraud and abuse of our tax dollars. Ricardo will also bring the city up to date and into the 21st century by automating processes, putting forms online in workable and printable .pdfs, and eliminating unnecessary and duplicate programs.
And while city government always likes to spend savings like this on new government waste, Ricardo won’t do that. Instead, Ricardo Chaves will work to return the savings to taxpayers in the form of a rebate or by making adjustments to the gross receipts tax. Ricardo refuses to burden Albuquerque citizens with additional taxes like an “increased gas tax” or a “sugary drink tax”.
Ricardo will sell the city-owned buildings and land not in current use. This will put these properties back on the tax roll and allow private industry to rebuild and revitalize these areas. Buildings such as Plaza del Sol, which will be completely empty once county employees move out of city hall and city staff moves back in, will be back on the market. Holding onto this 100,000 square foot building costs taxpayers over two million dollars a year. That’s wasteful spending, and Ricardo Chaves will stop it.
Solving our Transportation Problems
Albuquerque’s public transportation system loses $40 million a year. There are very few people who use these services, and expanding it through the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) was the wrong move. ART was an over-priced, under thought out boondoggle from the beginning. Albuquerque citizens didn’t want it, but our mayor and city council forced it on us with no regard for the outcome. ART construction is destroying our small businesses along Central and our historic Route 66 now looks like a demolition site.
Ricardo Chaves will outsource the city bus system to the private sector, where it can be run more efficiently, eventually at no cost to the taxpayer.
Parking meters across the city cost more to collect the money than they bring in. They harm small businesses. The money spent in these parking meters is better spent in our stores, boutiques and restaurants. Ricardo will remove all meters, and replace them with “two hour limit” street signs. This will allow customers to spend money in local businesses instead of in the meters as well as freeing up more police officers to fight real crimes.
Improving our Educational Outcomes
Ricardo Chaves will urge the Albuquerque Public Schools’ administration to follow his example of cutting wasteful spending by urging that the Albuquerque Public Schools face a thorough audit. Funds should be spent in the classroom paying our teachers who are educating our children, not on a bloated, wasteful education bureaucracy. Next to family and friends, teachers are the most influential people in our children’s lives. Teachers should be fully compensated for the hard work and responsibilities we place on them daily.
Ricardo will continue Albuquerque’s tradition of supporting before and after school programs such as the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, and others that play a vital role in feeding and the supplemental educating of our children. These programs, funded both by private and public funds, can augment the shortcomings of the current APS administration.
Ending Political Corruption
Ricardo Chaves can’t be bought! Unlike these other politicians who try to make deals to garner financial support, Ricardo is not accepting outside funding from anyone. Not one dollar from special interests, lobbyists, or city contractors. Ricardo wants to represent ALL the people of Albuquerque. Ricardo won’t be beholden to special interests and doesn’t want people to think they can get city contracts just because they’ve contributed to his campaign. The process of bidding and awarding city contracts in Albuquerque should be fair, honest, and open for all to see. Transparency in this process will restore faith in city government.