An Alpine city council member has announced his plans to recall the mayor in May.
Ward 3 Councilman Carlos Lujan made the announcement during a public meeting at Ivan’s Rustic Furniture store on March 22.
Lujan said he was waiting to start the recall process in May because his term as a council member will be up.
“I don’t want to sit on the council, next to the mayor, while I’m trying to recall him,” Lujan explained.
During Lujan’s term on city council, he has publically questioned audit items, to include city employees receiving payroll advances totaling $123,000. He told the crowd of about 50 concerned citizens and local press that the city could be facing bankruptcy.
“What made me question there was something wrong was when I saw there was $790,000 more than the revenues,” he said. “Where is it? It has to be somewhere, so I asked to meet with the auditor.
“The 2011-12 budgets have been misstated – there is a building listed as being revenue instead of an asset, for example.”
Lujan alleged that Mayor Avinash Rangra, City Manager Chuy Garcia and Financial Director Ricky Chavez have misused and misappropriated funds, including credit card abuse, writing checks to themselves and giving loans to employees.
According to Lujan, minutes from a 2006 city council meeting show that Rangra told Garcia to cease giving loans to employees.
“We need to really act,” Lujan said. “We need to take drastic measures and get rid of the people responsible.
“I don’t want to see the city employees punished just because they wanted a loan – it’s the people who allowed it to happen who need to be held responsible. We need to go in the right direction, or we will put up a good fight.”