Grants, NM is a town with a population of under 10,000 located about 78 miles west of Albuquerque. Mayor Martin Hicks openly defied Gov Grisham’s lockdown order and opened his city. The New Mexico state Attorney General warned him not to do that, but he did it anyway. When his own City Manager refused to open the golf course, he fired her. Gov Grisham say reopening “puts people at risk.”
The whole thing started with a petition from 81 businesses in Grants that asked Mayor Martin Hicks to allow them to reopen. He did so with a few restrictions.
On Tuesday, the Mayor fired his City Manager for refusing to open the golf course. Think about this: golf is a naturally self-distancing sport. People don’t generally “clump up” on a golf course unless there’s a tournament. Telling folks that opening it puts people at risk is a stretch. But the NMSP issued a “cease and desist” order to the Golf Course when they tried to reopen.
Why would a Mayor defy the Governor’s Health order? It’s simple economics. With the strict lockdown in place, and the businesses in Grants shuttered, nobody was making any money. The median income in Grants is $35,691, as compared to $46,744 in the rest of the state. With businesses closed, livelihoods and families were being destroyed.
“You can’t take somebody’s right to earn a living away.” Diane Rowe, owner of Papa’s Pawn Shop (KRQE)
Cibola county, where Grants is located, had 25 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with one death of a 70 year old woman with underlying health issues as of April 12. Grants, New Mexico is not New York City.
Governor Grisham, however, is hell-on-wheels bent to enforce her lockdown order. She wants businesses that open in defiance of her order to be cited by New Mexico State Police – which they have been doing.
The Sheriff says he is on the Mayor’s side, but has not stopped the State Police from writing those citiations. He’s asked them to be “compassionate.” Where’s his oath? He should not be allowing them to do that if he really believes in that oath. This is not the time for cowardice in the face of what is happening.
Small businesses should be allowed to reopen if they take the standard precautions. Some business owners have stated they are only allowing a certain number of people in their business at a time. Some businesses such as a family owned gun shop have been open since the beginning in March, and only allow 4 people at a time inside. Then there’s a thrift shop that opened on Tuesday with a sign in the window that read “Go Rogue!” (CBS)
Using the one-size-fits-all approach to the Coronavirus is not a wise choice. Using fearmongering to manipulate the populace of any state is as foolish as it gets. The mainstream media is fond of making the Mayor look like a crazed idiot. Mayor Martin Hicks of Grants, New Mexico is watching out for his constituents. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is not.
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