Grants mayor opens town for business despite governors’ orders
By Scott Ford
Grants mayor Martin “Modey” Hicks said on Wednesday during an interview with KOAT 7 news that Grants will open for business on Monday, April 27. Hicks said he is calling all 100 city employees back to work and is encouraging local businesses to reopen for business.
The mayor released a proclamation on Monday declaring Grants an Economic Emergency Area as a result of COVID-19. Also, that same day, many local business owners signed a petition to have Grants reopen for business, however, those businesses that open would still be violating the governor’s orders and could get cited. But it will not be from Grants police or the Cibola County Sheriff. Hicks said neither of those agencies will be enforcing the governor’s public health order. But the state police can still enforce the order in Grants.
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham extended the public health order on Wednesday during a live press conference to May 15. That health order limits gathering of five people or more and forces non-essential businesses to close.
“We are opening Grants,” Hicks said. “We are going to follow the CDC guidelines. We are going to do the social distancing, but we will be open for business.”
Hicks added the city will reopen despite it going against the governor’s executive order. The mayor said, “his town is dying.”
“More than 80 locally-owned businesses have been forced to close its doors due to the public health order, while larger corporate owned retailers have been allowed to stay open because they have been deemed essential,” Hicks said. “I am prepared to take whatever she wants to give me because she is already killing us anyway. She has taken all our jobs. What is she going to come put me in jail.”
According to the interview on KOAT 7, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham responded to what Hicks had to say and is doing, “It’s still a violation of those orders and I very much respect the mayor’s intent which is helping to promote economic resiliency and supporting workers and families.". The governor advised everyone to use her platform, the Economic Recovery Council.
There is a city council meeting slated for Monday April 27 which will be streamed live at 6 p.m. which can been seen at City of Grants Facebook page.