Counties in New Mexico
Types of local government
The U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 study of local governments shows that, as of September of 2012, local government in New Mexico consists of:
136 General Purpose units, including:
- 33 Counties
- 103 Cities, towns, and villages. Municipalities may incorporate as cities, towns, or villages, but these designations do not significantly affect the legal status of municipalities.
718 Special Purpose units, including:
- 622 Special Districts
- 96 Independent School Districts
- Home rule charter, adopted pursuant to NM Const. Article X, Section 6 and the Municipal Charter Act, of which there are 11. They are Alamogordo, Albuquerque, Clovis, Gallup, Grants, Hobbs, Las Cruces, Las Vegas, Rio Rancho, and Santa Fe. Los Alamos is consolidated with Los Alamos county and operates under a charter as a city-county government.
- Silver City continues to be governed by a historic territorial charter.
- General law cities, towns, and villages, of which there are 91
Initiative process availability
The availability of initiative varies depending upon the home rule status and form of government of a city, town, or village. Charter cities, towns, and villages have an initiative process for charter amendments granted by state statute, but individual charters may contain additional requirements. Charters may adopt initiative for ordinances. General law commission-manager cities, towns, and villages have a mandated initiative process provided by state statutes. General law mayor-council cities, towns, and villages do not have broad initiative authority to propose ordinances. However, for limited matters a petition process is granted by state statutes.
County website evaluations
- See also: Evaluation of New Mexico county websites
As of 2009:
- No New Mexico county puts its budget on its website.
- Nine counties included information on their websites about public government meetings.
- Six included information about the county's elected officials.
- 14 included information about the county's administrative officials.
- Three gave information about permits and zoning in the county.
- None of the counties put information on their websites about external audits.
- No counties provided information about contracts with county vendors.
- None of the county websites disclosed whether the county belonged to any government sector lobbying associations.
- The county websites uniformly did not provide information on how to request public records using the New Mexico Public Records Law.
- One website provided some information about county taxes.
- National Association of Counties Website, "County Seats," accessed September 18, 2013
- The U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 study of local governments
- New Mexico Municipal League, Questions that may be placed on the ballot in mayor-council municipalities that are not home-rule
- Ballotpedia: Types and #'s of local government by state