Richard J. Berry

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Richard Berry
Mayor Richard J. Berry first photo.jpg
29th Mayor of Albuquerque
Incumbent
Assumed office
December 1, 2009
Preceded by Martin Chávez
Member of the New Mexico House of Representatives
from the 20th district
In office
January 3, 2007 – December 1, 2009
Preceded by Ted Hobbs
Succeeded by James White
Personal details
Born (1962-11-05) November 5, 1962 (age 52)
Waterloo, Iowa, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Maria Medina
Children Jacob
Alma mater University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Religion Roman Catholicism

Richard J. Berry is the twenty-ninth and current Mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a former two term member of the New Mexico House of Representatives.

Berry was sworn into office on 1 December 2009, succeeding Democrat Martin Chávez. Berry is the first Republican Mayor of Albuquerque in over 30 years.[1]

Early life, education, and business career[edit]

Richard Berry was born in Waterloo, Iowa on November 5, 1962. He was raised in Nebraska and graduated from Beatrice Senior High School in Beatrice, Nebraska in 1981. Berry moved to Albuquerque in 1982 to attend the University of New Mexico on academic and athletic scholarships (track & field, decathlon). While at the Anderson School of Management, he met his future wife, Maria Medina. Berry graduated with a degree in finance and administration.

Since graduating, he has become a successful entrepreneur in the construction industry.[1]

New Mexico House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

In 2006, Berry ran for the 20th district of the New Mexico House of Representatives after Republican State Representative Ted Hobbes decided to retire.[1] He won the June 6 Republican primary with 52% of the vote, defeating two other candidates.[2] He won the general election unopposed.[3] In 2008, he won re-election to a second term unopposed.[4]

Tenure[edit]

Berry was a member of the pension solvency task-force.[5]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Appropriations and Finance
  • Rules
  • Rural and Economic Development
  • Transportation and Public Works

Mayor of Albuquerque[edit]

Elections[edit]

In 2009, Berry decided to run for Mayor of Albuquerque. He won the election with 44% of the popular vote. He defeated two Democrats: incumbent Mayor Martin Chávez (35%) and State Senator Richard Romero (21%).[6]

Berry ran for re-election to a second term in 2013[7][8] and won re-election. Berry carried 69% of the vote, defeating Democrat Pete Dinelli and Republican Paul Heh.[9]

Budgets[edit]

Since taking over as Mayor, Berry has reduced government spending by over $140 million, while keeping services to the community intact and without layoffs. Berry's administration began immediately looking at ways to repair the budget and through careful analysis was able to cut out more than $800,000 in recurring costs from his administration.[10] In addition, Mayor Berry has reduced the size of Government by over 200 positions, through attrition and vacancies. Without raising taxes, he has increased the city’s operating reserve percentage.[11] Mayor Berry led the City to craft a fuel hedge agreement, saving $2 million over the originally budgeted fuel expense. Other innovations included switching to one provider for insurance, creating a savings of more than $4 million. The city has maintained its "AAA" S&P bond rating.[12]

Public Safety[edit]

By stepping up community policing efforts in conjunction with smart policing technology Albuquerque has seen its Crime Rate drop to the lowest the City has seen in 20 years. Homicide totals, robberies, burglaries, auto theft, and property crime are all down since Berry took office.[13]

Education[edit]

Mayor Berry announced that the City of Albuquerque will provide approximately $115,000 for an International Baccalaureate Program at Sandia High School, the first program of its kind in the local public school district. The IB Diploma Program, a world-recognized college prep program for juniors and seniors based on rigorous academic standards. Qualified students from across Albuquerque will be encouraged to participate in the program, which is expected to be offered to a junior class of 100-150 students beginning in the 2013-2014 school year.[14]

Transparency[edit]

As a leader in government transparency Mayor Berry launched ABQ-View. It allows citizens to easily access city spending data, employee salaries, vendor contracts, capital projects, audits, internal investigations, budget trending, travel expenses, and political contributions. This led to the City of Albuquerque to receive an A+ rating from the Sunshine Review for transparency in both 2011 and 2012.[15]

To encourage employees of the City of Albuquerque to cut spending and waste, Mayor Berry created the Efficiency, Stewardship and Accountability Award. This program allows employees to submit ideas about how to save the city money within their departments. If an employee’s idea results in actual savings, the employee’s department is eligible for an efficiency bonus. The citizens of Albuquerque have saved over $1.4 million much of which is on a recurring basis. A recent ESA example involved identifying annual savings on cell phones of $344,000.[16]

Recognitions[edit]

Under Mayor Berry’s Administration for the City of Albuquerque

• Bloomberg Business Week’s latest ranking has Albuquerque topping major cities like Boston and Los Angeles. The ranking recognized Albuquerque’s scenic charm as well as its stable economy, recreational opportunities, and quality educational system.[17]

• Albuquerque received high marks from Business Facilities magazine’s annual ranking of metro areas’ economic strengths. Albuquerque was the 2nd highest rated area in terms of both Economic Growth Potential and Alternative Energy Industry Leaders, 3rd for Motion Picture Industry Growth, and the 5th highest ranked metro area for Quality of Life.[18]

• MovieMaker magazine ranks Albuquerque #1 city to Live, Work, and Make Movies in their January 2010 issue.[19]

• Relocate America ranked Albuquerque among the Top 10 Recovery Cities – May 2010 issue.[20]

• Forbes ranks Albuquerque among the Best Retirement Places – March 2011 issue.[21]

• Brookings Institution ranks Albuquerque’s exports 20th in the USA – July 2010 issue.[22]

• Brookings Institution again ranks Albuquerque #7 for Increase in Gross Metro Product – April 2010 issue.[23]

• William F. Dixon Award for Open Government, the Foundation for Open Government, 2012. [24]

• City of Albuquerque received an A+ rating from the Sunshine Review for transparency in both 2011 and 2012.[25]

Recall petition[edit]

In 2014, Paul Heh, a 2013 mayoral candidate, circulated a petition to recall Berry over the handling of recent Albuquerque Police Department (APD) shootings and associated protests, saying that 11,203 registered voters' signatures were required.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Berry is an Eagle Scout, participating with his son who is also an Eagle Scout. Berry has received the Silver Beaver award by the Boy Scouts of America for his work as a registered adult leader who has made an impact on the lives of youth through service given to the council. The Silver Beaver is an award given to those who implement the Scouting program and perform community service through hard work, self-sacrifice, dedication, and many years of service. It is given to those who do not actively seek it. He enjoys outdoor activities with his family including, hunting and fishing, snowboarding, water skiing, and other outdoor sports. Berry lettered in track in field while at the University of New Mexico. He participates in community and philanthropic events. University of New Mexico.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d City of Albuquerque. Bio: Mayor Richard J. Berry, City of Albuquerque, September 7, 2012.
  2. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=311856
  3. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=306494
  4. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=437781
  5. ^ World Cab Blogspot. First Republican Candidate Jumps Into Mayoral Race, World Cab Blogspot, September 5, 2012.
  6. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=494204
  7. ^ The United States Conference of Mayors. / 2009 Mayor Election Results, United States Conference of Mayors, September 7, 2012.
  8. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=783222
  9. ^ http://www.krqe.com/news/politics/2013-mayoral-election-results
  10. ^ Griswold, Shaun. Mayor Announces Budget Proposals, KOB, September 7, 2012.
  11. ^ Albuquerque Journal. Mayor Berry's Budget A Good Starting Point, Albuquerque Journal, September 10, 2012.
  12. ^ Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board. Albuquerque’s Fuel Wager Is a Good Bet, Albuquerque Journal, September 10, 2012.
  13. ^ Albuquerque Police Department. Annual Reports, Albuquerque Police Department, September 10, 2012.
  14. ^ Albuquerque Public Schools.City to Help Fund IB Program at Sandia High , APS, September 10, 2012.
  15. ^ NMFOG announces 2012 Transparency Award winners, National Freedom of Information Coalition, September 7, 2012.
  16. ^ Dyson, Stuart. Albuquerque IT employee saves city $344,000 a year , KOB News, September 10, 2012.
  17. ^ Brodsky, Rivkela. ABQ Makes Best Cities , Albuquerque Journal, September 10, 2012.
  18. ^ Business Facilities. Metro Rankings, Business Facilities, June 2, 2010.
  19. ^ Jacobs, Julie. 10 Best Cities To Live, Work & Make Movies in 2010, MovieMaker, June 2, 2010.
  20. ^ Memoli, Mike. 2010 Top 10 Recovery Cities, Relocate America, September 10, 2012.
  21. ^ Forbes. Best Retirement Places, Forbes, September 10, 2012.
  22. ^ Brookings Institution. West: How Intermountain West Metros Can Lead National Export Growth and Boost Competitiveness, Brookings Institution, September 10, 2012.
  23. ^ Brookings Institution. Metropolitan Product, Brookings Institution, September 10, 2012.
  24. ^ NMFOG.OPEN GOVERNMENT UPDATE, NMFOG, June 2, 2010.
  25. ^ City of Albuquerque.Mayor Berry’s ABQ View is leading the nation in transparency, City of Albuquerque, September 10, 2012.
  26. ^ Demarco, Marisa (April 1, 2014). "Protesters Draw Up Demands for APD". KUNM. 

External links[edit]