Albuquerque City Council reconsider mayoral powers

Politics - Government

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Does the mayor of Albuquerque have too much power? A few city councilors are pushing for a study to see if the city would be better off stripping the mayor’s off of some of its responsibilities. Right now, the mayor hires everyone responsible for the day-to-day operations of the city government.

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If the legislation is approved, the city will conduct a study re-evaluating that system, to see if there should be a city manager named by the city council who does that. “Could we improve our efficiency and perhaps get more for our public dollars than what we are now,” said City Councilor Diane Gibson, one of the sponsors of the bill.

The current mayor-council form of government was established in 1974, giving the mayor the responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the city, and hiring their own department heads and deputy directors.

If approved, the study will look at other cities that operate under a council-city manager form of government. Instead of political appointees in key positions, the proposal mentions that under a different system government can be led by personnel hired based exclusively on their qualifications, and remain serving even when a new mayor comes in.

“This could look at how efficient other cities are, and what they have found by going from one form of government to the other,” said Gibson.

The resolution was introduced to the city council on Monday. It now heads to a Finance and Government Committee hearing next week. If the council eventually approves it, an Albuquerque economist would conduct the study. No word yet on the cost of the study. The mayor’s office said it does not want to comment on a proposal this early on in the process.

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