General Provisions

38.01    Regulations required

38.02    Availability of policy

Personnel Policy

38.15    Title

38.16    Merit system; establishment

38.17    Covered employees; exemptions

38.18    Personnel procedures

38.19    Employee disputes

38.20    Discipline of directors; delegation of authority

38.21    Employee compensation

38.22    Employee misconduct


Personnel system, see Charter § 5.04



(A) The governing body shall adopt an ordinance governing all personnel policies and practices of the city as a public employer, which shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) Recruitment, selection and retention of any qualified person on the basis of merit without regard to race, creed, color, ancestry or national origin and without regard to age, sex or degree of physical or mental disability except where age, sex or degree of physical or mental fitness is a bona fide occupational qualification;

(2) Employment and promotion in accordance with accepted principles of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action based upon valid job requirements;

(3) Personnel decisions and actions as to compensation, benefits, transfer, layoff, suspension, dismissal, reinstatement, training and social and recreational programs without regard to race, creed, color, ancestry or national origin and without regard to age, sex or physical or mental fitness except where such is a bona fide occupational qualification;

(4) The provision of an administrative system of due process for appealing adverse actions taken against an applicant for employment or an employee who has attained permanent status through successful completion of a probationary employment period; and

(5) Appropriate penalties for violation of provisions of this chapter.

(B) The section shall strictly define any positions of offices which are exempted from all or certain provisions of the chapter because the positions or offices are policy-making executives and because the positions do not constitute paid employment with the city.

(C) The personnel chapter shall provide for the adoption by resolution of the governing body of appropriate regulations to clarify, implement and enforce the provisions of this chapter.

(‘87 Code, § 6-1-1) (Ord. 82-31)


Following adoption of the chapter and regulations and any amendments thereto, copies of the ordinances, regulations and amendments shall be open for public examination by the public during normal business hours in the offices of the City Clerk and each department head. Copies of the documents or portions thereof may be obtained from the City Clerk in the same manner and for the same charge as any other municipal public record.

(‘87 Code, § 6-1-3) (Ord. 82-31)


38.15 TITLE.

This subchapter shall be known as the “City Personnel Policy.”

(‘87 Code, § 6-2-1) (Ord. 94-023)


(A) Pursuant to the provisions of § 5.04 of the City Charter, a merit system for the hiring, promotion, discharge and general procedure of classified employees is established.

(B) The governing body shall adopt, amend or repeal by resolution appropriate regulations to clarify, implement and enforce the provisions of this subchapter upon the recommendation of the Personnel Board.

(‘87 Code, § 6-2-2) (Ord. 94-023)


(A) All nonelective classified positions in the service of the city are covered under the provisions of this subchapter and the rules promulgated hereunder, except the following:

(1) The City Administrator;

(2) Members of boards and commissions;

(3) Heads of departments appointed pursuant to § 5.02 of the City Charter;

(4) Professional consultants;

(5) Employees in their probationary period, except as may be provided in regulations pertaining to employment disputes not involving termination, demotion or suspension for five days or less; and

(6) Temporary employees (less than six months’ service or less than 20 hours per week).

(B) Those enumerated positions in division (A) above are subject to all provisions of this subchapter except §§ 38.18 and 38.19.

(‘87 Code, § 6-2-3) (Ord. 94-023)


Personnel procedures of the city shall provide that:

(A) All personnel actions of the city shall be made on the basis of merit and without regard to race, color, national origin, disability, political opinions, religious beliefs, sex or age of the applicant.

(B) Disciplinary actions, including demotion, suspension and discharge of city employees shall be for reasonable cause, provided however, that reduction in force, layoffs, transfers (not resulting in loss of pay), and discharge during probationary period shall be at the discretion of the City Administrator, not subject to dispute or appeal.

(C) Personnel files shall be considered confidential and under the control of the Human Resources Department. Access for good cause may be made available to an appropriate internal authority or otherwise made available pursuant to any applicable state law provisions for inspection of public records.

(D)    (1) In cases where work-related written or practical examinations are given to applicants, the Personnel Coordinator shall submit to the appointing authority the names of at least three individuals who received the highest scores in the examination process.

(2) When no examinations are given, the Human Resources Department shall submit to the appointing authority the names of at least three individuals who best qualify through education and experience and under the personnel rules for that position. The appointing authority shall fill the vacancy from the names submitted. If none of these applicants is available or willing to serve in the position, the remaining applicants may then be considered.

(E) Employees will be encouraged to apply for any position for which applications are being taken and their record of performance shall be considered.

(F) Upon initial employment, an employee shall be probationary for a period of one year unless otherwise provided under a collective bargaining agreement. Termination of employment during the probationary period shall not be subject to dispute or appeal.

(G) A vacancy may also be filled by the rehire or reinstatement of a former employee who qualifies for the position and who resigned or was laid off in good standing.

(H) Employees who have suffered disability and are not eligible for retirement and cannot perform their duties shall be placed in light duty positions that they are able to perform whenever practicable and when the work is available until the time as they are able to resume their classified position.

(‘87 Code, § 6-2-4) (Ord. 94-023)


(A) The governing body of the city, by resolution, will adopt regulations providing for a dispute procedure to allow for the resolution of complaints arising out of personnel actions taken by a supervisor which result in termination, demotion, loss of pay, oral or written reprimand, or any other complaint raised by an employee for violation of the individual’s rights as an employee, and for the resolution of problems arising between two or more employees over an employment-related matter.

(B) The procedures will be published as a part of the personnel policies and work rules adopted for the city.

(C) No person subject to this subchapter shall attempt to circumvent the procedures promulgated under this section by appeal or any other communication, directly or indirectly, to any elected city official unless the action is specifically authorized in the city’s personnel policies and work rules and all prior steps have been exhausted.

(‘87 Code, § 6-2-5) (Ord. 94-023)


(A) The City Administrator may suspend or otherwise discipline any department director for cause.

(1) The City Administrator shall, before disciplining any department director, advise that director of the intent to impose discipline and the reasons therefor in writing.

(2) The director may request an opportunity to meet with the City Administrator to dispute the reasons given or the contemplated discipline or both. If requested, the City Administrator shall conduct the meeting within five working days. This meeting is not to be construed as an evidentiary hearing.

(3) The City Administrator shall within three working days after the meeting issue his decision whether to impose discipline and the reasons therefor in writing to the director.

(4) If the director is dissatisfied with the City Administrator’s decision, an appeal to the governing body may be filed in writing with the Mayor. The governing body shall, in its discretion, hear the appeal or refer the matter to the Personnel Board for hearing pursuant to the Personnel Board’s hearing procedures. In either event an evidentiary hearing shall be conducted within reasonable period after receipt of the appeal.

(5) If the hearing is referred to the Personnel Board, the governing body shall consider the findings and recommendation of the Board as well as the record of the hearing. It shall by resolution uphold, modify or reject the City Administrator’s decision or remand the matter to the Board for additional hearing.

(6) If the governing body chooses to hear the appeal directly, it shall at the close of the hearing by resolution uphold, modify or reject the City Administrator’s decision.

(‘87 Code, § 6-2-6)

(B)    (1) Department directors and other administrative officers of the city may, subject to the City Administrator’s direction, approval and supervision, hire, fire and discipline subordinates in that officer’s department, office or agency.

(2) The subpoena power granted by the City Charter to the governing body is hereby delegated to the Personnel Board as the governing body’s agent in investigating personnel matters.

(‘87 Code, § 6-2-7)

(Ord. 94-023)


(A) Established pay scales based on competitive local labor rates shall be established. These scales shall be reviewed by the governing body at timely intervals and be available for inspection by any interested person.

(B) The city may provide for unemployment compensation insurance and for worker’s compensation insurance.

(C) The city will be a co-contributor to a health and accident insurance plan, group life insurance, a dental plan and a retirement plan for employees.

(‘87 Code, § 6-2-8) (Ord. 94-023)


(A)    (1) No employee, appointed or elected, may engage in outside employment or acquire interest in private business, where the employment or interest conflicts or interferes with the efficient performance of his duties, pursuant to the Conflict of Interest Act of New Mexico, NMSA § 10-16-3. This section does not apply to those board and commission members who are appointed to the positions because of outside employment or interest as set forth in the ordinances creating the boards and commissions.

(2) No person shall continue employment with the city while holding public office in the city. For purposes of this section, being a member of a local school board, being a non-voting member of a city board or commission or being an election official shall not be considered as holding public office.

(3) No person shall continue in employment with the city while engaging in political activity which creates a conflict with his city employment or otherwise adversely affects the integrity, efficiency or discipline of his service to the city. The following activities are declared to be presumptively detrimental to the quality of public service:

(a) Use by an official or employee of his position or employment to influence other city employees to either support or oppose any candidate or any issue in any election; and

(b) Being a candidate for elective office in the city.

(4) Nothing in this subchapter shall deny employees the right to vote as they choose and to express their opinions on political subjects or candidates.

(‘87 Code, § 6-2-9)

(B)    (1) No person shall willfully make any false statement, certificate, mark, rating or report in regard to any test, certification or appointment, or in any manner shall commit any fraud for the purpose of preventing the proper or impartial execution of this subchapter.

(2) No person seeking appointment to, or promotion in, the service of the city shall either directly or indirectly give, render or pay any money, service or other valuable thing to any person for, on account of, or in connection with any test, appointment, proposed appointment or promotion.

(3) No city official or employee shall solicit, receive or accept, either directly or indirectly, any money, service or other valuable thing, in return for granting, or influencing the granting of any benefit of city employment; provided, however, that the provisions hereof shall not apply to payments made to duly licensed employment agencies.

(‘87 Code, § 6-2-10)

(Ord. 94-023) Penalty, see § 10.99