News Column

Trini Lopez Officially Resigns as Mayor of Socorro

Oct. 10, 2012

Aileen B. Flores

Trinidad "Trini" Lopez walked into the Socorro City Administrative Building Tuesday morning to officially resign as mayor of Socorro.

With a copy of his resignation letter in hand and his head held up high, Lopez approached the city's receptionist and asked to meet with the city clerk.

The receptionist immediately notified the city clerk, who was in a meeting with other city staff members. Lopez was told to wait until the meeting was over.

But Lopez knocked on the door where officials were meeting. He said he was there to attend to an important matter.

City manager Willie Norfleet Jr. told Lopez to wait outside and then locked the door.

A few minutes later, city staff walked out the meeting room, and City Clerk

Sandra Hernandez accepted Lopez's resignation.

"I feel good. I'm very motivated because a lot of people have called me to support me in my decision," Lopez said while waking out the city building as former mayor of Socorro.

"I did what I did because I don't want to be in violation of the (Texas) Constitution and our City Charter," he added.

Lopez announced his resignation Sunday night after 10 months in office.

Lopez said that based on the advice of the Secretary of State's office and the office of state Sen. Jose Rodriguez, the city of Socorro should have held elections in May for the positions of mayor, councilman at large and District 4.

"I don't want to disrespect the citizens of Socorro, who elected me to be mayor until May 2012," he said.

In December 2011, Socorro council members changed the election date for the city's election from May 2012 to November 2013 under Texas Senate Bill 100 that allows governments, other than the county, to change election dates to correspond with general elections held in November.

The new date gave the mayor and council 18 more months in office, extending their terms in office to four years.

According to the Texas Constitution, home-rule cities, such as Socorro, must have an election when term lengths are changed to four years.

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