Avinash Rangra recall, Alpine, Texas (2013)
An effort to recall Avinash Rangra from his position as mayor of Alpine, Texas was launched in March 2013. The effort to qualify the recall question for the ballot, however, fell short short of going to a vote.
In March 2013, Ward 3 Councilman Carlos Lujan, along with Hugh Johnson and Diana Asgeirsson, announced an intention to recall Rangra. Lujan's term on the council expires in May 2013, so Lujan announced that he would wait until May to officially launch the recall effort. Lujan has expressed concern over the city's audit, including the fact that city employees have received payroll advances totaling $123,000. Lujan worries the city may go bankrupt, and he has alleged that 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.
In response to the recall effort Rangra told a newspaper reporter, among other things, that "[The three petitioners] have not given [Rangra] or the public any evidence as to what unethical is and what the mayor has done" and "This [recall effort] is character assassination."
Path to the ballot
- See also: Laws governing recall in Texas
Hugh Johnson, Carlos Lujan, and Diana Asgeirsson filed an affidavit for recall of Rangra at the Alpine City Hall in early June 2013. The three needed to collect 350 signatures to trigger a special election, and had to do it six months before the next general election.
The three petitioners stated Rangra "obstructed efforts to expose financial problems and terminate responsible employees; unethical behavior; participated in TOMA violations/city charter violations" as grounds for the recall.
In July, Rangra and Lujan agreed to have a debate about the recall issue. The debate never happened because Rangra had stipulated Lujan first produce evidence of his allegations, which Lujan did not.
By early August Lujan and the other recall organizers admitted that the effort was essentially dead because of a closing deadline and lack of signatures. Rangra told reporters in response, "The gang of three have been trying to ride a dead horse, and have beaten it to death. They need to apologize to the taxpayers of Alpine for badgering them with their delusional activities."
- Alpine Avalanche, "Mayor recall announced for May," March 28, 2013
- Marfa Public Radio , "Campaign to Recall Alpine Mayor Rangra Underway," June 14, 2013
- Big Bend Gazette, "EFFORT TO RECALL ALPINE MAYOR RANGRA FAILS," August 2, 2013
- Alpine Avalanche, "Mayor Rangra answers critics," June 13, 2013
- Big Bend Now, "Opponents take first step in recalling Alpine mayor," June 5th, 2013
- Big Bend Now, "Rangra, Lujan agree to debate," July 11th, 2013
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