HARKER HEIGHTS — After resigning as the Harker Heights mayor last week, Mike Aycock is on the fence as to whether he will run for office again in May.
“Obviously, this has been an extremely difficult decision because it has been my distinct privilege to serve as mayor and I will miss it more than I can say,” he said in his letter of resignation, which was effective Feb. 1.
The former Heights mayor owes the Bell County Tax Appraisal District nearly $55,000 in back taxes, including more than $2,160 to the city.
In accordance with the city charter, Rob Robinson, former mayor pro tem, took over mayoral duties until the municipal election May 10.
Robinson said the resignation caught him off guard.
“It’s a tragedy for Mike,” Robinson said. “It’s not an easy thing to talk about. He was a great mayor and a good friend.”
A news release from the city on Friday said Aycock was unable to fully discharge the city’s portion of his home property tax obligations before a Jan. 31 deadline, which disqualified him from holding office according to the city charter.
“This type of thing happens to thousands of people every day and I just happen to be one of them, and be a public figure,” Aycock said. “I’m going to pay my taxes and pay my fine.”
According to the city charter, the mayor “shall not be in arrears in the payment of any taxes or any other liability due the city.”
City Manager David Mitchell said the resignation does not prevent Aycock from seeking re-election, so long as his tax obligations are resolved before taking office, if elected.
Aycock filed for re-election last month and it’s uncertain whether he will pull out of the May 10 election.
“As soon as he became aware of his tax situation, he came to us and resigned,” Mitchell said. “He showed a great deal of integrity, and he has been a great steward of the community. We wish him well.”
According to tax appraisal officials, Aycock owes $39,588.50 in taxes from 2009 to 2013 on his business, Aycock Construction Company. He also owes 2012 and 2013 taxes on his home of $14,520. Both figures include penalties and attorney fees.
“It has been an honor and a pleasure working with my distinguished colleagues on the City Council and all the excellent personnel on the city staff,” Aycock’s letter stated. “I am extremely proud of all we have accomplished together during the past three years and I am confident that our city has its best days ahead of it.”
In the letter, Aycock said he looks forward to having the opportunity to serve the citizens of Harker Heights again in the future.
“I want to extend my best wishes to you all and to thank you for your kindness and support,” he wrote.
Contact Vanessa Lynch at email@example.com or 254-501-7567.