Mission mulls term limits for mayoral office

In a step toward fulfilling one of Mayor Armando O’Caña’s campaign promises, the city of Mission is considering implementing term limits for the mayoral office.

O’Caña said he couldn’t say much about the change as he’s waiting on input from legal counsel, but said he was looking into limiting the mayor’s office to two, four-year terms going forward.

“I will be the sacrificial lamb,” he said with a laugh.

The proposal was listed in a plan of action that he ran on during his 2018 campaign when he unseated former Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas, who served in the office for 20 years.

But even with 20 years under his belt, Salinas’ retirement from the office is not a sure thing as the two remain embroiled in a lawsuit over allegations of voter fraud in the elections.

In October, a judge voided the June runoff elections that saw O’Caña beat Salinas for the position. The case, however, is currently being appealed.

Since the election, there have been other major changes within the city including the retirement of City Manager Martin Garza and the departure of their city attorney, Abiel Flores.

Deputy City Manager Randy Perez was officially hired to succeed Garza in February while the city continues to search for Flores’ permanent replacement.

Ten people initially applied for the position, but the pool has been narrowed down to five, according to O’Caña.

Another round of interviews is scheduled for next week for those remaining candidates.

“It’s very difficult because we have spur-of-the-moment legal advice that we need with all the things that are happening,” O’Caña said, pointing specifically to general issues with Planning & Zoning and a lawsuit that was filed against the city by Snowball Express, a raspa stand.

That legal battle, which remains ongoing, is over the raspa stand’s hours of operation.

Since the departure of its previous attorney, Flores, the city has contracted with attorneys on a temporary basis to provide legal counsel for those issues, and presumably, regarding the issue of term limits as well.

“I wouldn’t mind reviewing it,” council member Ruben Plata said on the matter, adding that he thought it was good to set term limits and probably wouldn’t oppose setting limits for council members too.

However, he declined to speak further on the matter until more discussions were held within the city.

“Everything has pros and cons,” he said.