The Santa Fe City Council on Wednesday approved major structural changes to a volunteer committee that determines the mayor's salary.

The city's Ethics and Campaign Review Board will now appoint members to the Independent Salary Commission. Before Wednesday's vote, the mayor appointed members to the commission.

Without the change, Mayor Alan Webber, who is seeking a second term, would have appointed the commissioners who would determine his salary if he were reelected.

The resolution was co-sponsored by Councilors Michael Garcia, Signe Lindell and Renee Villarreal.

“I think this is a much better product than what we started with,” Lindell said. “It took a little work, but I think this is a much better process and will feel fair to hopefully everyone.”

The city established the salary commission in 2016 after voters approved a ballot measure that changed the city's system of governance to a full-time "strong mayor" structure. The commission first met in 2017.

(3) comments

Stefanie Beninato

I asked the question of how the Ethics Committee was appointed and got no interest or answer from any council member. So much for transparency even among those who yell the loudest for it. And Tara Lujan is now a state rep--someone who when she ran for county clerk forgot to mention her failure to pay student loans and the action brought by the company to collect.

Mark Ortiz

Not trying to be thick in the head but who is on the Ethics and Campaign Review Board and who appointed them? I looked on the City web site and see they haven't met since Feb 28, 2019. It lists Justin Miller, Judith Amer, Paul Bideman, Ruth Kovnat, Kristina Martinez, not present Tara Lujan, and Seth McMillan.

Kim Griego-Kiel

Why of course this is a better option. And a huge annoyance to the current mayor. Who wouldn’t want to stack the deck and make up their own salary?

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