Section II

Governing Board Structure

2.1 Statutory Structure

The Governing Board is created by the New Mexico State Legislature.  See NMSA 1978, Section 21-16-1 et seq.; See also NMSA 1978, Section 21-13-1 et seq. (NMSA 1978 refers to New Mexico Statutes Annotated; See APPENDIX 4 for Applicable Laws cited throughout this Guide) Individual Members are elected from each of seven geographic districts falling within Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties. They serve as non-salaried public officers entitled to receive a per diem reimbursement. See NMSA 1978, Section 10-8-1 et seq.

2.2 Districting

CNM voting districts are designed to be of approximately equal population, considering communities of interest among other factors. Following the decennial census, the boundaries of the seven districts are reviewed and revised as necessary to reflect changes in population in each district.  See Section 21-16-5.1 NMSA 1978.  The then serving Governing Board considers various options for changes in district boundaries, inviting comments from district residents at one or more public hearings.  The Governing Board then votes to adopt a single redistricting plan to be in effect for the succeeding ten years.  The final redistricting plan is maintained in the CNM electronic/digital records storage system and is filed with the Office of the County Clerks of Bernalillo County and of Sandoval County.

2.3 Election and Term in Office

Members are elected by voters within the CNM district in which they reside.  Governing Board elections are conducted as part of the New Mexico general election process.  Members from districts 1,3, 5, and 7 stand for election in even-numbered years, while Members from districts 2, 4, and 6 stand for election in odd-numbered years.  The term of office of a candidate duly elected to the Governing Board begins on January 1 following the candidate’s election, upon being duly sworn (or affirmed). Each Member serves for a term of four years.  Members may serve for multiple terms. See NMSA 1978, Section 1-22-18.

2.4 Governing Board Officers

The Governing Board elects a Chair, a Vice-Chair, and a Secretary as officers of the Governing Board at the next regular Governing Board meeting after new Members have taken the oath of office.  Governing Board officers serve a two-year term and may be re-elected for consecutive terms. Any Member desiring to become an officer shall notify the then-serving Chair.  The Chair facilitates the Member’s orientation to the office sought.  The Member advises the other Members of the desire to serve.  Members will take into consideration the standards of conduct applicable to the Members, the necessary time commitment, and the duties of the offices in voting for officers.

Roles of Governing Board Officers:

  • Chair - The Chair of the Governing Board presides at all regular and special meetings of the Governing Board. The Chair is responsible for understanding Governing Board governance policies and procedures, CNM’s financial condition, its legal circumstances, and the Strategic Plan. The Chair, by example, sets high standards for Governing Board conduct. The Chair intervenes if conflicts of interest or other Governing Board performance issues arise. The Chair: (1) appoints committee members and committee chairs; (2) serves ex officio on all committees; (3) initiates the annual Governing Board evaluation of the President; (4) leads new Governing Board Member orientation; and (5) acts as a liaison between the Governing Board and the President to help ensure the Governing Board’s policies and resolutions are carried out. 
  • Vice Chair - The Vice Chair is responsible for understanding the role of the Chair and steps in to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the Chair when the Chair is unable to do so.
  • Secretary - Following approval of the minutes by a vote of the entire Governing Board, the Secretary certifies the minutes and ensures they are filed in the CNM permanent records, maintained in the Office of the President.

2.5 Vacancy

In the event a Member does not complete the full elected term, consistent with Section, the Chair initiates the identification, evaluation, and selection of a new Member, in consultation with the remaining Members.  Within forty-five days from the commencement of the vacancy, the remaining Members, by majority vote, appoint a new Member who resides in the district in which the vacancy exists.  The replacement Member shall serve until the next scheduled Governing Board election for the applicable district. See NMSA 1978, Section 21-16-5.1(E).