N.M. mayor gives his salary to local PD

By Clara Garcia
Valencia County News-Bulletin
Albuquerque Journal

BOSQUE FARMS, N.M. — The mayor is reaching into his own pocket to help with unexpected expenditures in the Police Department.

Mayor Wayne Ake has told the village's clerk-administrator, Gayle Jones, to take his salary for the remainder of the fiscal year and give it to the Police Department.

Ake decided to forego his remaining salary, which would be less than $2,500, after the police chief explained to the council why at least one line item in his budget will most likely be in the red at the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Chief Joe Stidham explained there have been several unexpected expenditures involving maintenance and repair of police vehicles. He said he has less than $938 left in that particular line item. Stidham said the transmission in one of the police units "blew," and it would be cost-prohibitive to repair. Instead, Stidham purchased a used State Police vehicle for $4,000 to replace the inoperable car.

"I want you to designate it (his salary) to any line item the chief needs," Ake told Jones at a recent budget workshop. "It could even pay for the rest of that car."

Jones said after the meeting that Ake does have the option to give up his salary and designate it to the village. The mayor of Bosque Farms earns $5,000 a year. While the Police Department is facing the biggest budget crisis, both Ake and Jones said the overall village budget is on track to be balanced at the end of the fiscal year.

"We're not here to hold a funeral - it's not that bad, it's not bad at all," Ake told the council. "We're actually in good shape."

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