Commissioner Johnson’s Bio

Commissioner Wayne JohnsonCommissioner Johnson believes that easy access to information and records generated by government institutions is essential to public accountability. Because of this, the first legislation he sponsored as a commissioner focused on creating a more open and transparent government at Bernalillo County. In early 2011, just weeks after taking office, the county’s first Openness and Transparency Resolution (enacted as an ordinance in 2012) was passed. The legislation mandated the creation of the county’s website transparency portal, Bernco View, which makes the county’s spending, budgets, contracts, meeting agendas, employee names and salaries, and more readily available to everyone.

A strong supporter of public safety initiatives, Commissioner Johnson championed the idea of Closest Unit Response for fire and emergency services during his campaign.  He continued to press for implementation of this idea when he was elected commissioner, and it finally became a reality in 2013. Now, citizens can rest assured that if they have a fire or medical crisis, the Albuquerque Fire Department or Bernalillo County Fire Department emergency unit closest to their home will respond, regardless of whether they live in the city or the county.

In 2012, Commissioner Johnson brought his concerns regarding the high percentage of long-term investments being made by Bernalillo County Treasurer to the attention of the County Manager. Despite repeated attempts by the County Manager and commission to encourage the treasurer to purchase shorter term investments, his concerns became a reality in 2013 when it became clear that the value of the portfolio was at substantial risk because of rising interest rates. In an effort to minimize losses and protect future tax dollars, Commissioner Johnson and his colleagues on the County Commission created an Investment Committee charged with drafting a new investment policy for the county, and directed management to procure an investment advisor to determine a sound exit strategy for the portfolio.

Knowing the key to economic health in the county is a thriving business community, Commissioner Johnson has been involved in several important economic development initiatives. He led the county’s first trade mission to a foreign country, visiting Israel in Spring, 2013 with members of the city, county and state Economic Development offices, business owners, and representatives from the University of New Mexico, the Albuquerque International Trade Alliance and the New Mexico Israeli Business Exchange. The group met with government officials, tech incubators, research centers and facilitated meetings for Israeli companies interested in doing business in New Mexico. In addition, in partnership with the Green Chamber of Commerce, he helps sponsor the annual “Think Local Guide” that encourages people buy from local small businesses.

Since 2012, Commissioner Johnson has been instrumental in bringing over $600,000,000 in private investment to Bernalillo County and the City of Albuquerque. These investments are resulted in the creation of over 3,000 jobs in the area.

Also during his first term, Commissioner Johnson took the lead in helping to create a new Code of Conduct for county elected officials and employees that replaced the expensive and ineffective Code of Ethics that was in place when he took office. The new, streamlined code more closely mirrors state law, requires sworn, rather than anonymous complaints and created a new Compliance Office in the County Attorney’s office to investigate the complaints.

Born and raised in Albuquerque, Commissioner Johnson attended Sandia High School and the University of New Mexico, where he worked his way through college in television news as a news photographer. He graduated with a degree in University Studies with an emphasis in Computer Engineering and Film/Television, and is currently the president of Vista Media, a family-owned business started by his mother, Nancy Johnson, in 1975. Vista Media produces everything from commercials to documentaries to web content.

He has always been active in the community through his business, producing spots for groups like the American Cancer Society and the Kirtland Air Force Base task force. Prior to his service as a county commissioner, he served on various volunteer committees and boards, including the District 7 Coalition of Neighborhoods, the Mayor RJ Berry APD Transition Team, and the Bernalillo County Fire and Rescue Citizens Advisory Committee.