It’s unclear whether the victor of next year’s mayoral election will serve four years or two.
Since the city charter took effect nearly four decades ago, mayors have served two-year terms.
The charter also called for two-year terms for municipal judges, but the city increased those terms to four years without changing the charter a couple of decades ago. It did so based on legal advice that state law required municipal judges to serve four-year terms.
Earlier this year, Randy Van Vleck, the attorney for the New Mexico Municipal League, advised the city that state law also required four-year terms for mayors and that the city charter wasn’t following state statute in that regard.
At last week’s City Council meeting, Matt Martinez, the chairman of the city Charter Commission, which has drafted a proposed new charter, asked the city how it would handle the mayoral terms issue.
He said regardless of whether voters approve a proposed charter in the March 2 municipal election, the city may still be required to have its next mayor serve four years.
City Attorney Carlos Quiñones said the city is supposed to have four-year terms for mayor.
Officials said they would have to determine if the next mayor would serve four years or two.