Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Permits, zoning Y
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Contracts Y
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Lobbying P
Public Records Y
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Local Taxes

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Transparency grading process

Santa Fe is the capital city and fourth largest city in New Mexico. It is one of 62 cities in the state. As of 2010, it had a population of 75,764.[1]

Website evaluation

This website was most recently reviewed an unknown date.

Main article: Evaluation of New Mexico city websites

The good

  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.
    • Budgets are archived for 10 years.[2]
  • Administrative Officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.[3]
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address, phone number, and personalized email.
  • Elected Officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[4]
  • Meetings
    • Meeting minutes are archived for 6 years.
    • Meeting agendas are archived for 6 years.[5]
    • A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.[6]
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 2004 are available.[7]
  • Contracts
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.[8]
    • Approved contract statements are provided for vendors.[9]
  • Public Records
    • The public information officer is identified and maintained by the City Attorney. This person provides a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[10]
    • A public records form is provided.
    • A fee schedule for documents is provided.
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state, and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.[11]
    • Residents are able to pay taxes online.
  • Permits and zoning
    • Zoning ordinances are posted online.[12]
    • Permit applications can be downloaded on the site, along with information on how to apply for the permits.[13]

The bad

  • Lobbying
    • Current lobbying contract could not be found.


The 2010-2011 operating budget is $72,156,148 which is $5 million less than the previous year.[14]

Expenditure Amount
Community Development $1,868,406
Community Services $7,517,178
Finance $6,882,547
Fire $13,539,264
General Government $5,398,264
Human Resources $908,325
Land Use $4,215,097
Police $18,829,079
Public Works $12,997,828
Total $72,155,988

City Manager Robert Romero has requested that the 2011-2012 budget not include any additional programs.[15]


Santa Fe has received a total of $281,876,524 in federal stimulus money.[16]

Public Employees

Elected Officials

The city council is made up of eight Councilors elected to four year terms. Two councilors represent a district and their are four districts. Elections are held every two years.[17]

The mayor of Santa Fe is Democrat David Coss who was originally elected in 2006 and then re-elected in 2010. Before becoming mayor, Coss had served on the city council from 2002-2006.[18] Coss is a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.[19]

In Santa Fe, the mayor only votes in the governing body to break a tie or when his vote is required by law, but has the power to appoint the City Manager, City Attorney, City Clerk, and other administrative positions.[20]

The city council and the mayor are currently working on redistricting the city council districts based on the new Census information.[21]

The city council is looking to pass an ordinance requiring that will force participants in the World Naked Bike Ride to cover up more than just primary genitalia after this years ride led to a flood of complaints.[22]

Administrative Officials

The City Manager is responsible for the day to day operations of the city including departments, constituent services, public information, and emergency management. The mayor appoints the City Manager who then has to be approved by the City Council. The City Manager in Santa Fe is Robert Romero.[23]

Parking Division Controversies

The Santa Fe Police has begun an embezzlement probe of the Santa Fe Parking Division. A recently fired employee is confirmed as a target of the investigation and another employee resigned.[24]

An internal audit found that city officials were lax and tracking $4 million in funds obtained from parking meters. The internal controls over these funds was either lacking or nonexistent.[25]

Some other findings from the 2010 internal audit[26]:

  • Parking Division's audit software had not worked for two years
  • Door keys and safe combinations had not been changed despite turnover
  • Security systems such as video cameras and alarms were not working in the parking garages


See also: New Mexico state government salary

The 2010-2011 budget allocates about $37 million to public employee salaries and $18 million for benefits.[27]

Santa Fe is currently negotiating with unions over incentive and leave pay. The city wants to find a way to cut over $1 million from incentive and leave pay. The cuts are part of the attempt to close a $8 to $9 million budget gap. The three unions in Santa Fe are Police, fire and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.[28]


See also: New Mexico public pensions

Public employees in Santa Fe are enrolled in New Mexico's Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA).[29]

Emergency personnel

The 2010-2011 budget allocates $25,858,291 to the police department of which $17,308,956 is dedicated to salaries, wages, and benefits. The fire department is allocated $17,379,471 of which $13,195,797 is dedicated to salaries, wages, and benefits.[30]


See also: New Mexico government sector lobbying

The most recent lobbying contracts posted on the website are from 2009 and 2008.

Transparency & public records

The city website has a request page for public records here. The Public Records Policy is posted here and the following table shows some of the fees incurred when requesting public records.

Copy Type Fee
1-100 Single Sided Copies $.25 per page
101-300 Single Sided Copies $.20 per page
301 or more Single Sided Copies $.15 per page
Police/Fire Dept. Reports $1 per page
Records from Archives $1 per page


The 2010-2011 budget revenue estimate is $72,096,148. The following table shows the amount of revenue by source.[31]

Revenue Source Amount Increase/Decrease from 2009-2010
Local Taxes $19,316,896 -3.6%
State-Shared $35,713,189 -5.2%
Lic & Permits $1,495,149 -38.6%
Fees and Services $2,730,692 33.3%
Reimbursement $4,758,923 2.0%
Fines and Forf. $534,536 -6.0%
Rentals $31,300 0.0%
Misc. Rev. $239,023 -26.9%
Grants $0 -100.0%
Interest on Investments $158,670 -10.80%
Transfers $7,117,770 2.90%
Total $72,096,148.00

The gross receipts tax rate in Santa is 8.1875%. The following table breaks down the GRT rate.[32]

The State (1.225 is returned to the city) 4.6250 35,163,189
New State increment replacing food GRT 0.5000 N/A (included in other listed City categories)
Operations 0.4375 N/A (SF County)
Capital Outlay 0.2500 N/A (SF County)
EMS/Medical 0.3125 N/A (SF County)
Corrections/Jail 0.1250 N/A (SF County)
Regional Transit 0.1250 N/A (SF County)
City Capital Improvement Plan 0.5000 14,065,494
General City Operations 0.5000 14,065,494
G.R.T. (Bus Systems, Quality of Life, Revenue Loss) 0.2500 7,032,746
Mun. G.R.T. Environmental (WW) 0.0625 1,739,072
Mun G.R.T. Infrastructure:
Solid Waste 0.0625 1,737,859
Railyard 0.0625 1,738,084
Police 0.0625 1,738,084
Chavez Center 0.0625 1,738,084
Water 0.2500 6,915,442
TOTAL 8.1875 85,933,548

External links