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Santa Fe Starts New Charter Review Commission

Santa Fe Governing Body
Kevin Meerschaert
Santa Fe Governing Body

The Santa Fe Governing Body has approved a bill establishing the next Charter Review Commission.
The Charter Review Commission is established every ten years to take a look at what changes should be considered to how Santa Fe is governed.

Issues expected to be discussed range from expanding the number of council districts, changing the number of councilors per district, to if the Mayor should be more of an executive role, rather than both executive and legislative. The Commission will be able to debate any charter changes it wishes to discuss.

Mayor Alan Webber says it’s a great opportunity for the people to give their opinions as to what they would like to see.

“If somebody says ‘I’ve been waiting for this moment because I believe the city needs to do “X” on its charter’ you can get those ideas into the mix,” he said. “And your ideas are as good as the ones we put in as a governing body. It’s a chance for community-wide dialogue about how we want to govern ourselves.”            

Under the bill, each city councilor will submit three names  from their district to the Mayor, who will in turn select nine commission members with one each from the councilors suggestion plus one at-large member.

The names will be submitted to the Governing Body for approval by October 12th.  

Councilor Carol Romero-Wirth served on the commission prior to being elected. She says she trusts whomever is appointed will take a serious look at the charter and whatever changes under consideration. 

“I think that very good people serve on these things and they are good thinkers and they will figure this out,” she said. “They will spend the time appropriate and discard things they don’t think are ready or don’t need to be addressed. I trust them.”  

The Charter Commission will complete its work by May 10th of 2023, so any changes that need to be approved by the voters would be ready for the November 2023 ballot.