News & Announcements
Position brings a full-time focus to partner with residents, neighborhoods
Santa Fe, NM – City Manager Erik Litzenberg announced today that Kristine Bustos-Mihelcic will be the City’s first-ever Director of Constituent & Council Services. Bustos-Mihelcic joins the City after almost 9 years as the Communications Coordinator at Santa Fe County. She brings a background in public engagement to a position designed to help the City engage with residents, neighborhoods, and community organizations.
In the FY 18/19 budget, the Governing Body created this position as well as two Council Liaison positions and the Neighborhood Engagement Coordinator position, part of a commitment to two of the Mayor’s priorities: making Santa Fe the most user-friendly and family-friendly City government in the country. The role was proposed by Mayor Alan Webber to make sure City government is accessible and responsive to the public, provide important information to Council members, and enhance the livability of all Santa Fe’s neighborhoods.
Bustos-Mihelcic is a Santa Fe High School graduate and Santa Fe native with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication, with an emphasis in Public Relations, and a minor in Journalism from Eastern New Mexico University. She brings a wealth of experience in community engagement and outreach and specializes in modernizing communication while bringing transparency to residents. Bustos-Mihelcic served as the Communications Coordinator and spokeswoman for Santa Fe County since 2010. In that role she spearheaded the implementation of a Transparency Audit by the League of Women Voters, transformed the Santa Fe County website and won a national transparency award, restructured the use of social media, created annual reports and newsletters, and developed countless innovate programs to increase communication both for internal and external use.
At the City, Kristine will oversee Constituent Services, the Council Liaisons, and the Neighborhood Engagement Coordinator. She and her staff will focus on working in partnership with residents, Councilors, and City staff to address resident issues and facilitate resolution.
Mayor Webber said, “We take our relationship with Santa Fe residents and neighborhoods very seriously. We need to devote resources and full-time attention to improving our relationships with our neighborhoods, residents, and City Councilors as we build a better, stronger, and more united community.”
Finance Committee Chairman Roman “Tiger” Abeyta said, “Constituent Services, Neighborhood Engagement, and Council Services are different pieces of the same effort: professionalizing our City operations and engaging with the community to serve more Santa Feans at a higher level.”
City Manager Erik Litzenberg said, “The City Council and the Mayor have been clear about their commitment to improving the way the City works with our constituents and neighborhoods to get things done. Our goal is to be the most user-friendly City government we can be, and in Kristine and her commitment to public engagement we’ve got the right person to help lead us in that direction.”
She is the 10th new member of the City’s senior leadership team. The majority of the leadership team are women.
Bustos-Mihelcic said, “The relationship between constituents and government should be transparent, user-friendly, and honest. The commitment from City Government to redevelop local government makes this such an exciting opportunity.” She continued, “I have a strong desire to serve our community, and to help create a seamless, user-friendly, and open relationship with our residents. I am so very excited to be a part of the City team that is working diligently to serve our residents in new ways.”
The director-level position is budgeted for $95,000 annually. Kristine will start November 5th.