ARTICLE V
DEPARTMENTS, OFFICES, BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

Section 5.01 Departments; Creation; Supervision.

A.    Creation of Departments. The City manager shall be responsible for the administrative structure and functions of the City by establishing, altering, or abolishing any City department, office or agency, subject to approval of the Governing Body by enactment of an ordinance.

(Section 5.01.A amended at Special Election on March 7, 2006 as Proposition 19)

B.    Direction by City Manager. All departments shall be under the direction and supervision of the city manager as provided in this Charter, and shall be administered by the department director subject to the direction and supervision of the city manager. With the approval of the Governing Body, the city manager may serve as the director of one or more departments or may appoint one person as the director of two or more departments.

C.    Chain of Command. Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, the mayor and the members of the City Council shall work through the city manager regarding the day-to-day administrative affairs of the City, and shall refrain from directly giving orders to department directors or their subordinates regarding such day-to-day administrative affairs.

(Section 5.01 amended at Special Election on March 7, 2006 as Proposition 20)

Section 5.02 Department Directors; Hiring.

A.    The city manager shall appoint the directors of City departments, pursuant to the following procedures:

(1)    The city manager shall appoint a qualified individual and submit the nominee’s name to the mayor. The mayor shall indicate approval or disapproval of the nominee in writing within three business days.

(2)    If the mayor approves of the nominee, then the Governing Body may confirm and hire that nominee by adoption of a resolution confirming the nominee.

(3)    If the mayor disapproves of the nominee, then the Governing Body may confirm and hire that nominee only by an affirmative vote of five city councilors.

B.    Neither the mayor nor any member of the City Council shall in any manner control or demand the nomination of any person by the city manager, but the mayor and each city councilor may express their individual or collective views, and fully and freely discuss with the city manager anything pertaining to the nomination.

(Section 5.02 amended at Special Election on March 7, 2006 as Proposition 20)

5.03 Department Directors; Discipline; Termination.

A. The city manager may suspend directors of City departments, in writing, with or without pay, and may otherwise discipline directors of City departments, all in accordance with the City Personnel Ordinance.

B. Only the mayor or the city manager may recommend the termination of any department director to the Governing Body. A department director shall be terminated only by resolution of the Governing Body after recommendation by the mayor or the city manager. Each department director shall be an at will employee of the City, and shall be entitled to be removed with or without cause. The granting of any hearing rights in this Charter or any Personnel Ordinance regarding suspension shall not operate to change the status of a department director from an at will employee who can be dismissed without cause.

(Section 5.03.B. amended at Special Election on March 6, 2012 as Proposition 30)

C. Neither the mayor nor any city councilor shall in any manner control or demand that the city manager discipline or recommend the termination of any department director; but the mayor and any city councilor may express their individual or collective views, and fully and freely discuss with the city manager anything pertaining to a proposed discipline or termination.

(Section 5.03 amended at Special Election on March 7, 2006 as Proposition 20)

Section 5.04 Personnel System.

A.    The Governing Body shall adopt a personnel ordinance which is consistent with this Charter establishing the personnel policies, rules and procedures of the City. All appointments and promotions of City employees, other than department directors and those employees who are by this Charter or by ordinance designated as at will employees, shall be made solely on the basis of merit and fitness in accordance with the personnel ordinance to be adopted by the Governing Body.

B.    The personnel ordinance shall:

(1)    Set forth the standards and procedures by which the city manager may suspend or otherwise discipline directors of City departments, so long as an appeal to the Governing Body of such discipline by the city manager is authorized;

(2)    Establish a merit system governing personnel policies necessary for the effective administration of the employees of the City departments, offices and agencies, including but not limited to classification and pay plans, examinations, force reduction, discipline, termination, removals, working conditions, provisional and exempt appointments, in-service training, grievances and relationships with employee organizations;

(3)    Be consistent with all mandatory federal and state requirements; and

(4)    Authorize department directors or any other administrative officer of the City, subject to the city manager’s direction, approval, and supervision and subject to all applicable personnel regulations, to exercise the power to hire, fire and discipline subordinates in that officer’s department, office or agency.

C.    Neither the mayor nor any city councilor shall in any manner control or demand the appointment, discipline, or removal of any City employee who is a merit employee of the City; and such matters shall be left in the hands of the city manager and the city manager’s subordinates, except to the extent that the City personnel ordinance may authorize appeals to the Governing Body.

(Section 5.04 amended at Special Election on March 7, 2006 as Proposition 20)

Section 5.05 City Attorney.

A.    There shall be a city attorney who shall serve as chief legal advisor to the mayor, Governing Body, city manager, and all City departments, offices and agencies, and shall represent the City in legal proceedings, and shall perform any other duties prescribed by state law, by this Charter or by ordinance. The City may contract for the services of the city attorney and may contract for specialized legal services from outside legal counsel.

B.    The city attorney shall be an attorney in good standing, licensed to practice law in the State of New Mexico.

C.    If the Governing Body elects not to contract for the services of a city attorney, then the city attorney shall be a department director appointed by the city manager in the same manner as the city manager appoints the director of a department, subject to the same review by the mayor and voting requirements of the Governing Body.

D.    The city attorney is an at will employee who may be disciplined and removed in the same manner as a department director.

E.    The city attorney shall be responsible to the city manager regarding the day-to-day legal affairs of the City; and the mayor, Governing Body and city manager may work directly with the city attorney on all other matters of concern to the City.

(Section 5.05 amended at Special Election on March 7, 2006 as Proposition 20)

Section 5.06 City Clerk.

A.    There shall be a city clerk who shall serve as clerk to the Governing Body, and shall be responsible to the mayor, Governing Body and the city manager.

B.    The city clerk shall give notice of Governing Body meetings to its members and the public, keep the minutes of its proceedings, keep the official records of the City, cause appropriate public notices to be given, and perform such other duties as are assigned by this Charter, by the Governing Body or by law.

C.    The city clerk shall be appointed by the city manager in the same manner as the city manager appoints the director of a department, and shall be subject to the same review by the mayor and voting requirements of the Governing Body.

D.    The city clerk is an at will employee who may be disciplined and removed in the same manner as a department director.

E.    The city clerk shall be responsible to the city manager regarding the day-to-day affairs of the City; and the mayor, Governing Body and city manager may work directly with the city clerk on all other matters of concern to the City.

(Section 5.06 amended at Special Election on March 7, 2006 as Proposition 20)

5.07 Boards and Commissions; Advisory Bodies.

A. The Governing Body may, by ordinance, establish boards and commissions with such powers, purpose, scope, and authority as is deemed appropriate by the Governing Body.

B. The Governing Body may establish advisory bodies, as it determines to be appropriate and advantageous to the conduct of City government. Advisory bodies shall be established by ordinance when the advisory body is to function for a period greater than one year. A resolution may be used for advisory bodies that will function for a period of one year or less.

C. The ordinance or resolution creating an advisory body shall describe the purpose, scope and authority of the advisory body so established.

D. Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, the mayor shall appoint all members of boards, commissions and advisory bodies, and fill vacancies thereon, subject to the confirmation of the Governing Body, as provided in Section 3.02 of this Charter. The mayor shall appoint persons within forty-five days of the formation of the board, commission or advisory body, or within thirty days of a vacancy thereon.

E. Every effort shall be made to ensure that all council districts are represented on all advisory bodies. No more than two members of any advisory body may reside in the same council district, unless provided for otherwise by law, or unless the advisory body is comprised of more than twelve members.

F. No vacancy in the office of any member of any advisory body shall be caused by redistricting of City Council election districts. All members of an advisory body shall be entitled to serve out their terms, unless otherwise removed pursuant to Subsection H of this section, even if redistricting causes the number of members to exceed two from any one district.

G. No member of the Governing Body, nor any appointive officer or employee of the City, shall be appointed to any City board, commission or advisory body as a voting member. The mayor, all other members of the Governing Body, and the city manager or the manager’s designee shall be ex-officio members of all boards, commissions and advisory bodies. This subsection does not apply to any internal board or committee which consists solely of appointive officers or employees.

H. Except as otherwise provided by ordinance or this city charter, members of all boards, commissions and advisory bodies shall serve at the pleasure of the Governing Body, and may be removed at any time.

(Section 5.07.G. and H. amended at Special Election on March 7, 2006 as Proposition 20; Section 5.07.G. and H. amended at Special Election on March 6, 2012 as Proposition 31)

Section 5.08 Planning and Zoning Board.

A.    The Planning and Zoning Board of the City of Rio Rancho shall consist of seven members. The Board shall select one of its members to act as chair of the Board.

B.    One Planning and Zoning Board member shall be appointed from each of the six council districts and each member shall reside in their respective district during their term. One member shall be a resident of the City, appointed at-large.

C.    Upon the effective date of this Charter, a new Planning and Zoning Board shall be appointed as provided herein. All appointments of Planning and Zoning Board members shall be made within forty-five days of the effective date of this Charter, or within thirty days of a vacancy, or the expiration of a Planning and Zoning Board member’s term of office.

D.    No vacancy in the office of any member of the Planning and Zoning Board shall be caused by redistricting of City Council election districts. All members of the Planning and Zoning Board shall be entitled to serve out their terms, unless otherwise removed pursuant to Subsection E of this section, even if redistricting causes a Planning and Zoning Board member to reside outside the district which that Planning and Zoning Board member represents.

E.    Members of the Planning and Zoning Board may be removed at any time by resolution of the Governing Body. Upon removal, a vacancy shall be created which shall be filled as provided in this section.

5.09 Utilities Commission.

Section 5.09 repealed at Special Election on March 6, 2012 as Proposition 32.

(Section 5.09 adopted at Special Election on March 5, 1996 as Proposition 6)

5.10 Parks and Recreation Commission.

Section 5.10 repealed at Special Election on March 6, 2012 as Proposition 33.

(Section 5.10 adopted at Special Election on March 5,1996 as Proposition 7)