Grants once again without city manager

Politics - Government

GRANTS, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Grants is once again without a city manager. The city council voted to terminate the current manager’s contract after just half a year, a decision the mayor could now be fighting.


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Thursday evening, Councilors Rick Lucero and Fred Rodarte voted to fire Vanessa Chavez, despite community members asking them to keep her around. Chavez has only been in office for six months, hired at the end of April, taking over after former City Manager Laura Jaramillo was fired.

Last year, Mayor Martin Hicks tried terminating Jaramillo’s contract twice. The first time for refusing to open the golf course during the pandemic, and the second, after a dispute over raises for golf course employees. She was reinstated by the council both times but was eventually terminated by the council in a closed meeting this past April.

“I thought the previous conflict and turmoil would end,” said Chavez. “Unfortunately, I think some of that spilled over to my administration.”

Chavez says it’s unclear why they terminated her contract. Often outspoken Mayor Martin Hicks also asked for an explanation, during Thursday evening’s meeting. Chavez tells KRQE News 13 she hopes to get another chance at her job, and that Mayor Hicks plans to reappoint her for the position.

One city councilor told KRQE News 13 late Sunday night that the council fired Chavez because they want a more experienced candidate. In the meantime, they say it’s up to the mayor to find a replacement but did not address Chavez’s potential reappointment.

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