ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — Tensions are high inside city hall over the $200,000 Matrix study after a councilor claims the mayor has left the council, which approved the money for it, in the dark.
City Councilor Ken Sanchez said he expected the mayor’s office to deliver the news to council that the expensive independent study was out.
Instead, Sanchez and at least two other councilors KRQE News 13 spoke with found out, like everyone else in the city, through the media that the recommendations from the 600-page study were posted online.
“I thought we would have it within 24 hours, but that was not the case, and we're still waiting," Sanchez said. “I think once the report came in the report should have been sent immediately to each and every member of city council.
"At that point there should have been a meeting.”
Sanchez said there reason is he's read several budget recommendations that would require the council's approval, like adding more dispatchers for the Albuquerque Police Department.
For now councilors are just skimming through the study online like the general public.
“We have not discussed anything with the mayor and the administration based on this report,” Sanchez said.
However, Mayor Richard J. Berry did speak with News 13 and said there's good reason he didn't send a copy to every councilor.
“We went ahead and put it online," Berry said. "We thought instead of making dozens copies at 600 pages apiece the best way is to put it online for everybody."
The mayor said eventually the council will get it, and he'll consult with them.
However, he said there is a series of steps the city must go through before it gets to them. Berry said first the online study will allow the public to weigh in.
He said the administration is then allowing department directors to give opinions on the recommendations.
Those recommendations will be sent back to the mayor’s office and his administration will write up a report. Berry said that is when his office wills end the final draft to the council.
However, that will be awhile.
“I've given my directors a couple of months to go through the reports,” Berry said.
Sanchez voted against the study. He still says it's a waste of money because he believes department directors should have come up with the recommendations themselves.
The mayor said the savings from this will dwarf the cost of the study.
Councilor Debbie O'Malley also said it would have been courteous for the mayor to include the council. Councilor Dan Lewis said he has no problem with what the mayor is doing.
None of the other councilors responded to our calls.
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