Mayor Avinash Rangra said that he will not be a candidate for election to a third term in the May city council election. He made the announcement at the start of the regular city council meeting on Jan. 19.
Rangra has been an elected city official for 10 years, six as a city councilman and he will have completed four as mayor in May. The City Charter limits office holders to three consecutive two-year terms.
“All good things come to an end,” he said.
Rangra put to rest rumors that he intended to seek the office of county judge. “We have a good county judge and I’m proud of him,” he said. “I hope he [Eleazar Cano] stays for a few more terms.”
Councilor Nancy Antrim said Rangra’s announcement was a surprise.
“He has been of service to the city and we should appreciate that,” Antrim said. “He has done a lot of work and effort. I didn’t always agree with him but 10 years of service is remarkable.”
Antrim said she was hopeful some good candidates will run for the office.
“The council in the past year has made a lot of progress,” she said.
Former Ward 1 Councilor Angie Bermudez agreed the announcement was not expected.
“It was kind of a surprise to me,” she said. “I hate to see him not run for the next two years.
“He’s got his reasons but I don’t know what they are.” she said. “We’re going to miss a good man.”
Rangra came to the United States from India in 1962 and got a doctorate in chemistry from Oklahoma State University. He retired in 2013 after 46 years as a chemistry professor at Sul Ross State University. He also served three terms as a city councilman and was elected mayor in 2012.
Rangra faced some stormy times on the council. In 2013 three council members tried for a recall election to oust the mayor over financial irregularities.
Earlier, as a councilman, Rangra faced a lawsuit claiming violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act and other charges. Many of his years on the council involved conflict among council members.
Asked if he would pursue his business interests after his term expires, Rangra was vague, saying he has never planned what would happen next.
“I’m excited,” he said. “This is not burnout. It’s time for new actors to come on board.
“It has been fun,” Rangra said. “It’s been a challenge.”