Updated: Sunday, 22 Feb 2009, 12:27 AM MST
Published : Sunday, 22 Feb 2009, 12:18 AM MST
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez is back from a meeting with the President and other mayors about spending the nation's newest stimulus package.
Chavez said he's concerned with the where the money should go, and where the money should stay.
President Barack Obama signed the multibillion dollar stimulus package into reality on Tuesday.
Now comes the hard part, putting the money where it will do the country most good. Part of that responsibility is now on the shoulders of mayors across the nation.
"Now rebuilding our economies and renewing our cities is going to require a true partnership between mayors and the White House—and that partnership has to begin right now," Obama said.
The Albuquerque Mayor doesn't seem to mind the pressure.
"It's a problem started by our federal government, but local governments are going to be crucial in solving it," Chavez said.
Chavez is zeroing in on an open proposal that could hinder New Mexico's national laboratories.
He said the office of management budget could move lab management from the Department of Energy to the Department of Defense.
"Their priorities legitimately are different than renewable energy research, we know that renewable energy could be crucial," Chavez said.
A move could mean the end of several research programs at both of the state's labs.
"That one is important to Albuquerque. We could actually lose jobs if it were to go into the Department of Defense," Chavez said. "It means that there will be different emphasis, the Department of Defense has a different mission."
Before leaving Washington Friday, Chavez made sure his concerns were heard. He said he spoke directly with the new secretary of energy.
The mayor said the laboratory proposal is still in its early stages.
Chavez said another issuer he addressed in Washington was transportation. He wants a rail transit system for Albuquerque.