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Socorro Politics: Mayoral Recount, City Manager Fired

He hired mariachis and even brought cake, but Socorro Mayor-elect Willie Gandara Sr. didn’t get to savor either.

Just as Gandara was about to be sworn in at Friday afternoon’s city council meeting, there was an announcement.

Incumbent mayor Trini Lopez wants a recount.

Remember, only 18 votes separated Lopez and Gandara in last Saturday’s election.

“A lot of people have been calling me since last Saturday,” Lopez told ABC-7. “I hope there will be some changes as the people desire.”

Results from the recount are to come within the next seven days, said Lopez.

So, with Lopez still in the mayor’s seat, it was on to city business at Friday’s meeting.

First up: the firing of Interim Socorro City Manager Lorenza Fraire.

A YouTube video from last November showed Fraire getting into a scuffle with Mayor Lopez.

It took Socorro’s City Council exactly four minutes to deliberate her fate and Fraire’s termination was read to her in front of the packed house.

Fraire had no immediate comment following council’s decision but say to ABC-7, “just look at the (city’s) internal audit. That’s all I can tell you.”

Councilman Jesse Gandara Jr. – who posted the YouTube video of Fraire and Lopez – says her departure means a fresh start for Socorro.

“We’re beginning a new chapter,” he said.

But others say after everything that went down at Friday’s meeting, it’s clear very little has changed.

“Usually, when you’re going to fire a city administrator of this level, there’s open discussion about this” said Socorro resident Dora Oaxaca. “They just did not want the public to engage with them.”

Fraire’s termination doesn’t take effect for 30 days. She was instructed to turn in her keys to the city offices.

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