It’s something Mayor Richard Berry had — a city credit card for work trips and meals, but that’s not something you will find in Mayor Tim Keller’s wallet.
“The mayor takes taxpayer dollars very seriously, so here at the city, he kind of just operates just like any other employee. He buys his own coffees and his own lunches,” said Felicia Salazar.
Salazar is the spokesperson for the mayor’s office. She says Mayor Tim Keller hasn’t found a need for a city credit card.
“The mayor came in and during his transition period, was really focused on getting straight to work,” she said.
Salazar says going without the credit card is his way of showing financial responsibility.
“The mayor, at least from our perspective on the TopGolf issue, is being fiscally responsible. So we applaud him for that,” said Paul Gessing.
Gessing is the President of the Rio Grande Foundation, a non-profit research institute. He says he appreciates the stance Mayor Keller is taking on the issue.
“It sounds like Mayor Keller is trying to be fiscally responsible, that’s great,” he said.
Former Mayor Richard Berry had a different take on his finances.
According to his city credit card statements, which are still listed on the city’s website, Berry changed his card quite a bit. He often had meals at local restaurants like Vinaigrette, Wecks, and Fork & Fig.
On top of that, Berry preferred to travel by taxis on work trips and would charge those on the company card.
Salazar says all of Mayor Keller’s meals are on his dime. If he has a work trip, all his expenses are pre-approved by the Chief Financial Officer.
“The mayor’s just really focused on being accountable to taxpayers, and that’s been a priority since he’s been in public office,” she said.
In the previous administration, Mayor Berry and his Chief of Staff had city-issued credit cards. Still, they spent far less each year on travel expenses than the previous administration of Marty Chavez.