New report gives city mixed grades

Posted at: 12/04/2012 10:11 PM
Updated at: 12/04/2012 10:14 PM
By: Maria Guererro, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A new report card for the city of Albuquerque grades the city as “undesirable” in some key areas, but there’s some very encouraging news as well.

The 12-page report was compiled by a group of citizens appointed by the city to measure how well Albuquerque is progressing toward its goals.

“As I look at this report, I think there's a lot of really positive things in the report," said Mayor Richard Berry in an interview Tuesday.

Berry said the city’s progress report is a snapshot in time, not just about him or city services, but about all Albuquerque residents. "It really talks about things that we do as a community," said Berry.

The report, compiled by the Indicators Progress Commission, rates Albuquerque among six “peer cities.” The cities are similar to Albuquerque in size and make: Tucson; Salt Lake City; Colorado Springs; El Paso; Austin; and Oklahoma City. Topics range from arts & culture to government effectiveness.

"It talks about a city [that] is very fit,” said Berry. “It talks about a city [that] has a very thriving senior population. We have less seniors in poverty that any of the peer cities that we studied. But, then it talks about a city that hasn't done very well with recycling over time."

The report points out the city’s low high school graduation rate of 63 percent.

It also finds about 10 percent of teens in ages 16-19 who are not in school and don’t work.

Improving education, Berry says, lies with everyone from parents to the state legislature. He points to city programs like Running Start for Careers.

"…Where we team up high school kids with industry experts and industry-taught curriculum to try and keep them motivated to keep them in school and show them there are opportunities for them after they graduate," Berry said.

When it comes to public safety over the past four years, property crime is improving while violent crimes still need more focus.

The report found Albuquerque’s property crime decreased 13 percent. National crime dropped 8 percent in that same time period.

The Duke City’s violent crimes dropped 11 percent, compared to a 14 percent drop nationally.

“We have to make sure we're pushing the envelope. That we're continuing to work with our neighborhoods, with our police department, be smart about how we police," said Berry.

Nothing official comes of the report. The mayor wants residents who see something in the report and have an idea to call the mayor’s office.

For the complete report: http://www.cabq.gov/progress/documents/albuquerque-progress-report-2012.pdf