Alpine City Council Member Starting Petition to Get Mayor Ousted, Public Forum Set for Friday
By Jen Kastner
ALPINE- On Tuesday, an Alpine city council member alerted NewsWest 9 that he'll be putting together a petition in the hopes of getting the current mayor thrown off of the city council.
Ward 3 council member Carlos Lujan tells NewsWest 9, he'll be holding a public forum this Friday, where he'll announce more details related to the petition.
"I feel sorry for the people of Alpine. They're all confused about what's going on," Lujan said.
Lujan is referring to the financial mess the city is struggling with.
"[I want residents] to know what's going on with this practice of illegal loans to employees and writing checks to themselves and things like that," Lujan said.
Lujan says the city employees were inappropriately told they could borrow from public funds. In a city council meeting held last week, it was announced that those employees were almost done paying back those advancements, but Lujan says the city manager, Chuy Garcia, should be held responsible.
However, his real problem is with Mayor Avinash Rangra, who, Lujan claims, quiets down serious matters.
"[He's] intimidating people [to not] go public on many issues that really need to be addressed," Lujan said.
NewsWest 9 also spoke with Ward 5 council member Diana Asgeirsson, who also believes the mayor doesn't have Alpine's best interests at heart.
In a previous interview with NewsWest 9, Rangra denied any wrong doing. He claims to have no personal agenda in any of the city's matters.
Lujan says the city management has led to tens of thousands of dollars being misused, but he's not ready to divulge more information at this point. He believes the city audit, scheduled to become available next week, will highlight how serious the problems are.
Lujan's public forum will be held Friday at noon at 306 East Holland Avenue in Alpine.