This is a little bit different than our normal daily updates, but we’ve been asked by a few people to explain a little more detail about local City government.
The City of Carlsbad is served by ten elected officials – Municipal Judge Collis Johnson and eight City Councilors and myself. Our City is divided into four wards as follows – Ward 1 (Edward Rodriguez and Lisa Anaya-Flores), Ward 2 (JJ Chavez and Leo Estrada), Ward 3 (Jason Shirley and Judith Waters) and Ward 4 (Wesley Carter and Mark Walterscheid). Councilor Rodriguez is also our Mayor Pro Tem.
The City of Carlsbad’s form of government is called “Mayor-Council form of government” in state law. Our City Council operates as the legislative branch of local government. They have the ultimate final say in votes related to budget, resolutions and major policy changes. We have a great City Council that also works closely with City Hall every day by serving on a number of committees. Our Council meetings are the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month.
As described by state law, the Mayor is the presiding officer of the governing body (meaning the mayor presides over council meetings) and the chief executive officer. The executive office makes proposals to City Council and oversees the day-to-day processes. Our City Administrator and Deputy City Administrators are tasked with assisting the mayor in running the daily operations of the City. John Lowe is our City Administrator, while Wendy Austin and KC Cass serve as our Deputy City Administrators. We are also supported by a large number of advisory committees such as our Lodgers’ Tax Advisory Board and our Planning and Zoning Commission, as well as by ad hoc committees who help us with specific projects. We sincerely appreciate the hundreds of residents who dedicate their time toward helping this community.
City departments include Municipal Services; Municipal Court; the City Attorney’s office; Planning, Engineering and Regulation; Community Development; Finance; the City Clerk; Public Works; the Fire Department; Utilities; the Police Department; Human Resources; and IT.
Who watches over the City? Our budget and financial decisions are regulated through the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration. Melissa Salcido is the Director of Finance and she works closely with Austin. Sandy Gonzalez works very closely with Austin and prepares our annual budget. Our finance department has done a great job over the past few years making sure everything is accountable.
The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office also has oversight in terms of open records. The City Clerk, Nadine Mireless, and the clerk’s department work very hard to maintain our open government. Our water and waste water departments are regulated through the EPA and New Mexico Environment Department.
The City recently opted into the provisions of the 2018 Local Election Act, which means municipalities will have its officers elected during the November Local Election on years where there isn’t a Presidential or Gubernatorial election. That means our next municipal election, which will be managed by Eddy County, will be in November of 2021.
You can report issues & concerns to the City of Carlsbad online at www.egovlink.com/carlsbad, calling 311 from a landline or calling (575) 887-1200 from a cell phone. Finally, you can always message the City of Carlsbad page on Facebook. Many of our offices may be restricted right now due to COVID-19 concerns, so please contact us in advance.
What other Elected Government Agencies Serve Carlsbad? Eddy County is represented by five commissioners, each representing one of five districts across the county. The county’s Treasurer, Sheriff, Assessor, Probate Judge and Clerk are all elected as well. Carlsbad Municipal Schools is also served by an elected body of five. Finally, we have a local Carlsbad Irrigation District Board of Directors, as well as a Carlsbad Soil and Water Conservation District who both operate independently from the City or County
The City of Carlsbad has a great partnership with all other local elected bodies. Please let us know if we can ever answer any of your questions or be of any additional assistance.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway