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County Commission Approves Contract for New County Manager


County Commissioners today voted to formally approve the contract to hire Julie Morgas Baca – as the next Bernalillo County manager. Baca will take over as county manager  Oct. 3, replacing current manager Tom Zdunek, who is scheduled to retire Oct. 2.

The Board of County Commissioners held a special meeting today to vote on the employment agreement. Under the terms of the three-year contract, Baca will earn a starting pay of $175,000 a year.

The county manager is the top administrative officer for Bernalillo County government. The county manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization and reports to the County Commission.

The county manager manages an annual budget of about $500 million, and oversees about 2,500 employees. 

Baca served as Bernalillo County deputy county manager for the county’s Community Services Division for nearly eight years, between January 2004 and December 2011. More recently, she served as president and chief executive officer of the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation for a little over two years.

Baca is the first woman in over 25 years to be selected as the Bernalillo County manager.

Forty-six applicants applied for the job. 

Zdunek has been the county manager for the past four-and-a-half years. 

In other business, the Board of County Commissioners also approved a job description that will be used to advertise the county attorney’s job. Current County Attorney Randy Autio is planning to retire Dec. 1.


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