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The new Bernalillo County Charter took effect Jan. 1, 2017. The Home Rule Urban County Charter is like a constitution for the county – basic rules for how our local government is organized.

The charter was approved by 55 percent of voters in the fall 2016 general election. County boundaries, ordinances and elected officials stay the same. However, the new charter gives local government much more flexibility and independence to be more responsive to community needs.

Notably, the charter strengthens the county’s ethics, transparency, accountability and financial oversight efforts of the past several years.

Please click here to see the entire charter document. 

At a meeting on Dec. 8, 2015 of the Board of County Commissioners, direction was provided to county staff to develop a resolution that would help guide the newly created Urban County Charter Commission in the creation of an Urban County Charter to bring to voters on Nov. 8, 2016. Voters approved the charter in that November election. AR 2015-81 identifies three goals and charter document topics to assist the Urban County Charter Commission in accomplishing its task. 

The three goals include:

1.a  Develop a charter document that provides the county organization with the ability to adopt operational efficiencies to more quickly and effectively address constituent needs and provide services;

1.b  Engage county departments to understand the specific needs that a “home rule” designation will positively address; and

1.c  Ensure that the charter preserves the State of New Mexico Statutes that govern the duties and responsibilities of each elected official and/or body to include: The Board of County Commissioners; and the County Sheriff, Assessor, Clerk, Treasurer and Probate Judge elected offices and officers.

The Urban County Charter Commission is composed of seven members. Each County Commissioner shall nominate a member for consideration and appointment by the Board. Two more members shall be at-large members and shall be appointed by the Board. The seven appointed members of the UCCC shall all be appointed by Jan. 31, 2016. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original members.  

Please take a look at the resources below to learn more about the new Bernalillo County charter.


 

New BernCo Charter Goes to Voters for Approval in November

01/05/2017
3:45 PM

Bernalillo County voters will have the opportunity to formally establish more local control of county government this fall in the November election, when a new constitution for the county goes to the voters for approval.

The Bernalillo County charter would serve as a constitution, or framework for how Bernalillo County government is organized. The number of elected officials, county boundaries and most current ordinances would stay the same.

The charter would strengthen open government, ethics and compliance efforts; increase the efficiency of the county’s purchasing processes; strengthen the county manager’s ability to serve as chief executive of the county; and, establish a strong merit system for county employees. The bottom line is more local control of local government.

The charter also calls for more financial audits to better protect tax dollars.

The measure was passed unanimously by the Bernalillo County Commission earlier this week.

Notably, the charter would strengthen the county’s investment policies with more protections for taxpayers. Any amendments to the charter would also have to be approved by voters.

The charter language was finalized by the Bernalillo County Commission on Aug. 23. State law allows Bernalillo County voters to formally establish county government as a home rule county by adopting a charter. This means more local control and accountability of local government.

The Urban County Charter Commission has met since January 2016 to create the draft of the new charter. The seven-member volunteer board was appointed by the Bernalillo County Commission. For more information and to read the proposed charter, please visit http://www.bernco.gov/boards-commissions/urban-county-charter-commission.aspx.

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