Berry takes heat for hiring New York-based PR company

Posted at: 05/09/2013 6:20 PM
Updated at: 05/09/2013 6:21 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Albuquerque’s latest attempt to attract businesses and create jobs has become a political issue in the race for mayor.

It’s all about $50,000 the city wants to spend hiring a public relations firm from New York City. 

The New York firm, Development Counsellors International, will head the first phase of the project, which will focus on national media like the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. The idea is to get companies interested in relocating or expanding or starting up in Albuquerque.

Pete Dinelli is running for mayor and the says the deal stinks.

“There are plenty of advertising firms in Albuquerque that know Albuquerque,” Dinelli said. “They know its assets, they knopw its benefits. They could very easily do the promotion. What is disturbing is that they feel they have to go all the way to New York City.”

Mayor Richard Berry, who is running for re-election, says a local firm will eventually handle the lion’s share of the project, which is expected to cost about $5 million dollars.

“In fact the firm that we have retained to help us write the RFP and set the structural aspects of the program from an advertising standpoint will ultimately be a small subcontractor to the loczal vendor that gets the work, Berry said.

Berry said he has worked hard to bring more jobs to the city. Even so, Dinelli says he can to the job better.