News & Announcements
City Manager, Mayor Announce Hires for Police Chief, Land Use Director
Andrew Padilla will continue in role, Carol Johnson joins the City from Maricopa County, AZ
Santa Fe, NM – The City of Santa Fe’s latest additions to its senior leadership team under new Mayor Alan Webber and Acting City Manager Erik Litzenberg bring a balance of fresh eyes, new ideas, and continuity of leadership to two critical departments: Land Use and the Santa Fe Police Department.
Acting City Manager Erik Litzenberg said, “We continue to be excited about the team we’re building. We’re confident that when the hiring process is over we will have the combination of diversity, experience, continuity, and change that we need to deliver on our promises to Santa Fe.”
Mayor Alan Webber said, “Carol Johnson has practical, hands-on experience in some of the fastest growing and challenging planning environments in the country. Her work in Phoenix and Berkeley shows she knows how to run a user-friendly land use department and take on complex issues of affordable housing, transportation, and livable neighborhoods. She’ll bring smart and sustainable solutions to land use and help chart our City’s future.”
He added, “Chief Padilla has earned the job. He’s shown dedication to a police department that fits Santa Fe, is committed to community policing, and understands the challenges we face, especially when it comes to opioid addiction and the kinds of crime that stem from it. Together we’re going to make Santa Fe safer, more united, and more family-friendly—in every neighborhood.”
Carol Johnson, Land Use
Carol Johnson joins the City of Santa Fe from Maricopa County, AZ, the fastest growing county in the United States, where she has served as the Planning & Development Director since 2017, overseeing a staff of 100 people. Prior to that she held the same position for the City of Berkeley, CA.
In those roles she built a track record of neighborhood engagement that will serve her well as the City faces major challenges in affordable housing and sustainable growth. In each position she was also instrumental in improving customer service, central to Mayor Webber’s commitment to being the most user-friendly city in the nation. Ms. Johnson also brings needed experience in modern land use practices and using innovative technology to increase access and ease of use in the planning process.
Carol obtained a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Washington, and a Bachelors in Geology from Washington State University.
Carol said, “I’m excited to live in a place that values its difference, and to be part of finding solutions to the challenges so many cities are facing: The need for affordable housing, the importance of sustainability, and the critical importance of maintaining Santa Fe’s special history and culture. I’m confident in the Mayor’s commitment to those goals, and eager to join the team.”
Andrew Padilla, Police Chief
Acting Police Chief Andrew Padilla brings continuity to the leadership of a Santa Fe Police Department that has renewed its commitment to community policing, training, and recruitment on his interim watch. The City conducted three in-person interviews from a wide field of applicants and included a representative of the Public Safety Committee.
Padilla’s story—a Marine Corps veteran born and raised in Espanola, who joined the force as a patrol officer and worked his way up through the ranks over a nearly 18-year career—shows what young people with a desire to contribute to their community can accomplish. He has worked in patrol, criminal investigations, training, administration, and as the commander of the SWAT team and Special Operations. We’re excited to have such a role model for future generations taking the helm of our community police force.
Chief Padilla said, “I’ve built a strong working relationship with Mayor Webber and Chief Litzenberg over the last several months. We’re all pulling in the same direction, with the same goals in mind for our community’s police department.”
He added, “I’m honored to have earned the job on a permanent basis, and we will continue to focus on community policing, training around crisis intervention, and intelligence-driven policing that reduces home and auto burglaries.”