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Granite Shoals mayor won’t seek re-election

Granite Shoals Mayor Aaron Garcia

Granite Shoals Mayor Aaron Garcia has announced he will not seek re-election in May 2023. The deadline to file to run for mayor or the other four City Council seats up for election is Feb. 17. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Granite Shoals Mayor Aaron Garcia will not be running for mayor or any other position on the City Council in the May 6 elections, leaving the field wide open for potential candidates. He cited work schedule conflicts and the heavy time investment of holding a council position as his main reasons for not running. 

Five of the seven seats on the council are up for grabs in May. The deadline to apply for a place on the ballot is Feb. 17. 

Garcia announced his intention to remove himself from the running in an interview with DailyTrib.com on Thursday, Jan. 19, explaining that his job as a Marble Falls police sergeant made it difficult to balance his professional responsibilities with his civic responsibilities as mayor. He endorsed the mayoral candidacy of his friend and Charter Review Committee Chairman Kiel Arnone.

“I can’t devote the time I’d like to serve and represent the city with the type of employment that I have,” Garcia said. “I feel privileged to have been put into the position as mayor and having had the opportunity to serve.”

Garcia was elected to the Place 2 seat on the City Council in May 2022. He received a surprise appointment as mayor pro tem in June, which ultimately led to him becoming mayor when Will Skinner resigned from the position in October

Garcia plans to focus on Granite Shoals’ search for a permanent city manager and finding solutions for the city’s employee benefits problems during his remaining time in office. He formed subcommittees to tackle both in December 2022, believing them to be two of the most pressing issues facing the city.

Garcia acknowledged that somebody from the outside looking in could perceive the endorsement of his friend’s bid for mayor as unfair, but he stood by his word and backed up Arnone’s character and qualifications. He made similar statements when he expressed support for friend and Place 3 Councilor Samantha Ortis’ appointment to mayor pro tem in December.

“Kiel has the time, and he has proven himself to be a devoted member of the community,” Garcia told DailyTrib.com. “He’s confident, does his homework, does his research, and his leadership (as mayor) will help the city move forward.”

Arnone was recently made chairman of the Charter Review Committee and applied for appointments to both the place 2 and place 3 council seats when they became available in October and November

He attends most City Council meetings and has butted heads with Councilor Phil Ort. Most notably, Arnone filed a public information request regarding claims of support for a Granite Shoals Dark Skies Ordinance from Ort in September that led to censures against Ort from the City Council and an Ethics Review Committee for failing to fulfill that request.

Arnone filed his application to run for mayor on Jan. 19 shortly after Garcia announced his intention not to run.

“I’m hoping to make some changes for the betterment of Granite Shoals,” Arnone told DailyTrib.com.

dakota@thepicayune.com

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