ARTICLE II
GOVERNING BODY

Section 2.01 Corporate Authority; Composition; General Powers

A.    Corporate Authority. The corporate authority of the City shall be vested in the Governing Body, which shall consist of six city councilors, who shall comprise the City Council and the mayor who shall be the presiding officer of the Governing Body.

B.    Powers. All powers of the City shall be vested in the Governing Body, except as otherwise provided by law or this Charter, and the Governing Body shall provide for the exercise thereof. The legislative power of the City shall be vested in the Governing Body.

Section 2.02 Election; Terms.

A.    Election. One City Council member shall be elected by the qualified electors in each of six City Council districts. The mayor shall be elected at-large. A person shall be eligible and qualified to be a candidate for the Office of Mayor or City Councilor, if that person meets all requirements of the Constitution and laws of the State of New Mexico and all requirements of this Charter.

B.    Terms. The mayor and city councilors shall each be elected for a term of four years. The mayor and each city councilor shall remain in office until that person’s successor is qualified.

(Section 2.02 amended at Special Election on March 5, 1996 as Proposition 3)

Section 2.03 Council Districts.

A.    Redistricting Plan. Following each decennial census, the Governing Body shall prepare a plan to be adopted by ordinance dividing the City into six geographic election districts for the purpose of providing for the election of City Council members. In preparing the plan, the Governing Body shall be guided by the criteria set forth in this section, along with other applicable requirements of law. The plan shall include a map and description of the City’s new election districts.

B.    The Governing Body shall complete its redistricting work so that new election districts are utilized at the first regular municipal election following the completion of the decennial census.

C.    In preparation of its plan dividing the City into districts for the election of City Council members, the Governing Body shall apply the following criteria:

(1)    Districts shall be designed in conformity with the Federal Voting Rights Act and in conformity with the principle of “one person - one vote” as required by law;

(2)    Districts shall consist of contiguous territory which shall be compact and convenient; and

(3)    Communities of interest, including those based on economic, geographic, or ethnic characteristics, shall be preserved within a single district to the extent reasonable and practical.

Section 2.04 Compensation; Expenses.

A.    Compensation. The Governing Body shall determine the salary of the mayor, City Council members, and municipal judge by ordinance, subject to the limits of the New Mexico Constitution and irrespective of the annual salary of the county commissioners of any county within which all or part of the City is situate.

B.    Expenses. The mayor, City Council members, and the municipal judge shall receive their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties of office, subject to budgetary limitations and subject to any per diem and mileage limits as may be set by ordinance.

Section 2.05 Vacancies; Forfeiture of Office; Effect of Redistricting.

A.    Vacancies.

(1)    Mayor. The Office of the Mayor shall become vacant upon the mayor’s death, resignation, removal from office, forfeiture of office, moving of residence outside the city or for any other reason as authorized by this Charter or the laws of the State of New Mexico.

(2)    Councilor. The Office of Councilor shall become vacant upon the councilor’s death, resignation, removal from office, forfeiture of office, moving of residence outside the district from which elected or for any other reason as authorized by this Charter or the laws of the State of New Mexico.

(Section 2.05.A. amended at Special Election on March 5, 1996 as Proposition 4)

B.    Forfeiture of Office. The mayor or any city councilor shall be deemed to have automatically resigned from Office if the Mayor or City Councilor lacks, loses or otherwise fails to possess, during the entire term of office, the qualifications for the office prescribed by this Charter or the laws or Constitution of the State of New Mexico.

C.    Effect of Redistricting. Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection B of this section, no vacancy in the Office of a City Councilor shall be caused by redistricting. All incumbent city councilors shall be entitled to serve out their terms, even if redistricting causes a city councilor to reside outside the district which that city councilor was elected to represent.

Section 2.06 Filling Vacancies.

A.    A vacancy in the Office of Mayor shall be filled as follows:

(1)    Within forty-five days of the vacancy, the Governing Body shall appoint a qualified successor who shall serve as mayor until the next regular municipal election.

(2)    If the mayor’s term of office has not expired at the next regular municipal election following the vacancy, then a special election for the remaining term of Office of the Mayor shall be held concurrent with the next regular municipal election. If the mayor’s term of office has not expired at the next regular municipal election following the vacancy, and a special election for the remaining term of Office of the Mayor cannot be legally held concurrent with the next regular municipal election, then a special election shall be held as soon as possible after the next regular municipal election.

(3)    At the special election the person elected shall serve as mayor for the balance of the mayor’s term of office then remaining.

B.    A vacancy in the office of city councilor shall be filled as follows:

(1)    The mayor shall, within forty-five days of the vacancy, appoint a qualified successor to fill the vacancy, subject to the confirmation of the Governing Body as provided in Section 3.02 of this Charter, who shall serve until the next regular municipal election.

(2)    If the city councilor’s term of office has not expired at the next regular municipal election following the vacancy, then a special election for the remaining term of office of the city councilor shall be held concurrent with the next regular municipal election. If the city councilor’s term of office has not expired at the next regular municipal election following the vacancy, and a special election for the remaining term of office of city councilor cannot be legally held concurrent with the next regular municipal election, then the special election shall be held as soon after the next regular municipal election as possible.

(3)    At such a special election, only qualified electors residing in the City Council district in which the vacancy exists shall be entitled to vote. At the special election, the person elected shall serve as city councilor for the balance of the city councilor’s term of office then remaining.

C.    Extraordinary Vacancies. In the event that all offices of the Governing Body are vacant due to death, disability, by operation of law, forfeiture of office, or combination thereof, the Governor will appoint an interim mayor and City Council that will call a special election to be held no sooner than sixty days, but not later than one hundred and twenty days following the occurrence of that extraordinary vacancy.

Section 2.07 Judge of Qualifications.

A.    The Governing Body shall be the judge of the qualifications of its members, and of the grounds for forfeiture of their office, except as provided in Chapter 10 of the New Mexico Statutes Annotated.

B.    The Governing Body shall have the power to set by ordinance additional standards of conduct for its members beyond those specified in this Charter, and may provide for such penalties as it deems appropriate, including forfeiture of office, so long as forfeiture of office is specifically and expressly authorized.

C.    In order to exercise these powers, the Governing Body shall have [the] power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths and require the production of evidence.

D.    Except as to proceedings brought pursuant to Chapter 10 of the New Mexico Statutes Annotated, a Governing Body member charged with conduct constituting grounds for forfeiture of office shall be entitled to a public hearing on demand, and notice of such hearing shall be published in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the City at least one week in advance of the hearing.

Section 2.08 Investigations.

The Governing Body may make investigations into the affairs of the City, or the conduct of any City department, office, agency, board, or any City activity, and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and require the production of evidence. Failure or refusal to obey a lawful order issued in the exercise of these powers by the Governing Body shall be a petty misdemeanor punishable by a fine established by City ordinance.

Section 2.09 Governing Body Procedure.

A.    Meetings. The Governing Body shall meet regularly at least once in every month at such times and places as the Governing Body may prescribe by ordinance. Special meetings may be held on the call of the mayor or of three or more members of the City Council. Notice of meetings shall be given as provided in a resolution to be adopted by the Governing Body pursuant to the New Mexico Open Meetings Act. Except as allowed by the New Mexico Open Meetings Act, all meetings of the Governing Body shall be open.

B.    Rules and Minutes. The Governing Body shall determine its own rules and order of business and shall cause minutes to be kept of its proceedings. The minutes shall be a public record.

C.    Roll Call Votes. Voting on resolutions and ordinances shall be by roll call and the ayes and nays shall be recorded in the minutes.

D.    Voting. All actions and decisions of the Governing Body shall be by vote of a majority of the members present, except as follows:

(1)    Resolutions and ordinances shall be enacted by affirmative vote of a majority of all of the members of the Governing Body; and

(2)    Any other matter required under this Charter or the Constitution or laws of the State of New Mexico, to be enacted by a vote other than a majority of the members present.

E.    Quorum. Four members of the Governing Body shall constitute a quorum, unless there are two or more vacancies on the Governing Body; in which case, a quorum shall be a majority of the members of the Governing Body excluding those offices which are vacant. A number less than a quorum may adjourn from time to time, and may compel the attendance of absent members in the manner and subject to the penalties prescribed by the rules of the Governing Body.

Section 2.10 Action Requiring an Ordinance.

A.    In addition to ordinances which are required by the laws of the State of New Mexico or by specific provision of this Charter, the following matters shall be undertaken by ordinance of the Governing Body:

(1)    Provide for a fine or other penalty, or establish a rule or regulation for violation of which a fine or other penalty is imposed;

(2)    Levy taxes;

(3)    Grant, renew or extend a franchise;

(4)    Authorize the borrowing of money;

(5)    Establish or change the rate charged for public utilities; and

(6)    Amend or repeal any ordinance previously adopted.

(Section 2.10.A. amended at Special Election on March 7, 2006 as Proposition 19)

B.    All actions of the Governing Body, other than those required to be accomplished by ordinance, may be undertaken by motion or by resolution.

Section 2.11 Ordinances in General.

A.    The Governing Body shall establish by ordinance the manner in which ordinances are to be introduced, the form of proposed and final ordinances, the form of ordinances amending existing ordinances, the manner in which ordinances shall be written to show language to be added to existing ordinances, and language to be deleted from existing ordinances, the procedures for introducing ordinances, the manner in which ordinances shall be distributed to members of the Governing Body, the manner in which ordinances shall be published, and such other requirements as the Governing Body deems appropriate.

B.    Effective Date. Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, every adopted ordinance shall become effective at the expiration of ten days after adoption, or at any later date specified therein.

Section 2.12 Emergency Ordinances.

A.    To meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property or the public peace, the Governing Body may adopt one or more emergency ordinances, but such ordinances may not levy taxes, grant, renew or extend a franchise, or regulate the rate charged by any public utility for its services.

B.    An emergency ordinance shall be introduced in the form and manner prescribed for ordinances generally, except that it shall be plainly designated as an emergency ordinance and shall contain, after the enacting clause, a declaration stating that an emergency exists and describing it in clear and specific terms.

C.    An emergency ordinance may be adopted with or without amendment, or rejected at the meeting at which it is introduced. After its adoption, the ordinance shall be published and printed as prescribed for other adopted ordinances. It shall become effective upon adoption or at such later time as it may specify.

Section 2.13 Codes of Technical Regulations.

A.    The Governing Body may adopt any standard code of technical regulations by reference thereto in an adopting ordinance.

B.    A copy of each adopted code of technical regulations, as well as of the adopting ordinance, shall be made available by the city clerk for distribution or for purchase at a reasonable price.

Section 2.14 Authentication and Recording; Codification.

A.    Authentication and Recording. The city clerk shall authenticate by signing, and shall record in full in a properly indexed book kept for that purpose, all ordinances and resolutions adopted by the Governing Body.

B.    Codification. Within three years after adoption of this Charter, and at least every ten years thereafter, the Governing Body shall provide for the preparation of a general codification of this Charter and all general City ordinances. The general codification shall include such codes of technical regulations and other rules and regulations as the Governing Body may specify.