Heights council retreat

Mayor Mike Aycock talks with members of the City Council about future development on Knight's Way in Harker Heights during a retreat Saturday, June 22, 2013, at the Harker Heights Activities Center.

HARKER HEIGHTS — Former Mayor Mike Aycock withdrew his application Friday afternoon and is no longer running in the May 10 election. However, two other candidates will be on the ballot.

Current Mayor Rob Robinson, 72, and Oscar Dominguez, 56, filed paperwork Friday to run for mayor in the municipal election.

Aycock resigned as mayor Feb. 1 because he was unable to fully discharge the city’s portion of his home property tax obligations before a Jan. 31 deadline. He owes the Bell County Tax Appraisal District nearly $55,000 in back taxes, including more than $2,000 to the city, according to tax records. Aycock’s delinquent debt disqualified him from holding office, according to city charter.

The last time Aycock made a payment on his business, Aycock Construction, was in 2012 in the amount of $5,000. He has made no payments since then on either his business or personal county tax debts, tax officials said Friday.

Robinson served as mayor pro tem until he was named mayor after Aycock’s resignation.

“I’ve been the mayor for the past month and I feel comfortable in the position,” Robinson said Friday after filing his application for election. “I have a good reputation and a lot of experience, and I feel like I am the right man for the job. I want to continue to take care of the residents and to continue to move the city in the right direction.”

Although new to the political arena, Dominguez has lived in Harker Heights since 1992. He served 20 years in the military, retiring at Fort Hood in 1994, and also retired after 20 years with the Texas Department of Transportation.

“I have plenty of experience at the federal, state and nonprofit levels raising funds for the United Way, to bring to this office,” he said. “Politics has always been a passion of mine, and this is the best way I can give back to the city because I have been blessed with everything I have.”

Council members voted Tuesday to name Hal Schiffman the new mayor pro tem. He will serve in that position until the May 10 election. At the first council meeting following the election, the council will elect a mayor pro tem to serve a one-year term.

According the city charter, if the mayor pro tem succeeds to the office of mayor, that council seat will be considered vacant. Since Robinson served two consecutive three-year terms on the council, he could not run for re-election. However, he is eligible to run for mayor because the positions are different, said Patty Brunson, assistant city manager.

Vying for Robinson’s vacant seat 4 are John Reider and David Brown.

Aycock did not return calls for comment.

Contact Vanessa Lynch at vlynch@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7567.

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