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Santa Fe City Councilors Want More Transparency From Administration

Santa Fe City Councilor Lee Garcia
Kevin Meerschaert
Santa Fe City Councilor Lee Garcia

On the heels of a report in the Santa Fe New Mexican that an overdue 2022 city audit is blocking the availability of state funding for capital outlay has City Councilmembers asking why they weren’t told earlier.

The paper reports it recently obtained the letter from the state that was dated August 23rd. But Councilmembers say they weren’t informed until recently that the letter arrived.

The fact the funds could be blocked was not new news, and Mayor Alan Webber says it’s actually good the state is open to working out a solution, but the lack of communication regarding the letter has several council members questioning what they see is a lack of transparency by the administration. 

Councilman Lee Garcia mentioned that the city manager is a position that can be terminated not just by the Mayor, but also by six votes by the Governing Body.

After the meeting Garcia said that wasn’t intended to be a shot across the bow, but just to remind the administration about the importance of keeping council members informed.    

“At some point it needs to be in the air as to what our responsibility as representatives of the community. We are elected officials and the people who hire and fire us are the constituents,” he said. “I did not say it in any means to put anyone on notice but it’s just the rules and that’s how it works.”          

City Manager John Blair says he takes full responsibility for any miscommunication. 

He says the administration has made significant strides in being more transparent with the Governing Body but it has to be a case by case basis regarding any information that comes into City Hall as to not deluge council members with every item that comes in.