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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 Takes Effect

6:50 PM
Thanks to voters, Bernalillo County has a more independent, transparent and accountable government as of Jan. 1.
The Home Rule Urban County Charter was approved by voters in the fall 2016 general election. It’s like a constitution for Bernalillo County – basic rules for how local government is organized.
County boundaries, ordinances and elected offices will stay the same. However, the charter provides much more independence and flexibility to allow the county to better serve the public.
County officials are currently drafting language for proposed new ordinances in the following areas:
·         Quicker action on blighted and run down properties. This would allow the county’s Planning and Development Services Department to move more quickly to condemn certain problem properties, which often hurt property values and attract crime.
·         Emergency powers. This ordinance would allow the county to declare disasters more quickly and receive state and federal help for communities impacted by forest fires, blizzards or floods, for example.
The examples listed above are among many positive changes being researched by county officials, including the establishment of new purchasing policies to streamline procurement processes.
“Bernalillo County voters have spoken, and my administration is working hard to make local government more open, efficient and accountable to better serve our communities,”County Manager Julie Morgas Baca says. “This is a new era for Bernalillo County government. Strong ethics, transparency and financial oversight measures have been approved by voters through the new charter. My administration will continue to work closely with the public and the Bernalillo County Commission to create a more responsive and transparent county government.”
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