Grants city manager put on administrative leave after heated city council meeting

New Mexico

GRANTS, N.M. (KRQE) – The issues between the mayor of Grants and the city manager are back in the spotlight. The mayor put the city manager on administrative leave this morning, after a heated city council meeting Monday night. 

Mayor Martin Hicks and City Manager Laura Jaramillo have been at odds since April when she was fired by the mayor then later reinstated after she filed suit against the city of Grants. However, during Monday night’s city council meeting the two got into it again, over budget issues. 

This isn’t the first time things have gotten heated between the two city officials. Back in April, Jaramillo was fired by Hicks after she stood by municipal golf course staff who refused to reopen the course when Hicks wanted the city to reopen despite the governor’s health order.

Jaramillo then filed a lawsuit claiming the termination was a violation of the New Mexico Whistleblower Protection Act. She was then eventually reinstated on May 6. The mayor and Jaramillo disagreed again Monday night over raises given out to some golf course staff and not first responders. 

“Why aren’t we giving raises to the cops and firefighters,” said Hicks. “At the first line of covid. They’re out there everyday. Okay, but we’re cutting positions to give raises to golf course maintenance people.” 

Hicks said during the meeting Jaramillo proposed giving some golf course staff a three dollar raise since they cut one position, and Jaramillo mentioned police officers got a 3% raise two years ago and firefighters were given hazard pay this year.

After all that, the meeting ended with no clear resolution. The city council plans on having a special meeting this Friday to discuss personnel matters involving Jaramillo. KRQE reached out to Mayor Hicks for comment but did not hear back.

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