Lovington, New Mexico Commissioner Keeps His Job

By Camaron Abundes
NewsWest 9

A city commissioner is still standing after some residents tried to oust him from office, for micro-managing and preventing city employees from doing their jobs.

The unofficial votes were counted and Neil Granath kept his job by only 19 votes, in Tuesday's recall election. Next, Mayor Dixie Drummond and District Four Commissioner Troy Harris will face recall election on November 20th.

Granath, filed an injunction against the city to stop the election over a dispute involving the translation of the ballot in Spanish. New Mexico state law requires ballots must be printed in both English and Spanish. According to Lovington City Attorney, Patrick McMahon, a judge in Carlsbad ruled the election would continue, but each Spanish ballot would have additional language added.

Before the polls closed, Granath told Newswest 9 if the voters decided to keep him in office it will be a testament to a job well done. He says the controversy started when he tried to make the City Manager Pat Wise more accountable. Granath said he worked to iron out a contract with Wise, and to make him an an at-will employee, who reports to the commission.

Some accused Granath of overstepping his role, but when the votes were counted 107 voted for the recall, 126 voted against.