A three-term Tyler city councilman announced Friday he would resign from office in order to seek the position of mayor in 2020.

Councilman John Nix said Friday he would resign effective March 27 in order to comply with the city’s term limit law.

He is the first to announce his candidacy to replace incumbent Mayor Martin Heines, who currently is serving his third and final term.

Nix, 40, was elected in May 2013 in a special election to fill the unexpired term of Jason Wright. Nix was re-elected to two-year terms in 2014, 2016, and 2018.

However, the city charter prohibits members of the City Council from serving more than six years in a row, and serving past May would have caused a legal problem, he said.

“It was brought to my attention by (the city’s legal department) that I would have an eligibility issue due to the city charter stating that a member cannot continuously serve for more than six years,” he said.

“I did not want to resign,” he said. “I had legal advice. I went out and sought counsel and we’ve been looking at it for awhile a couple months trying to figure out what I had to do.”

The City Council will hold a special meeting March 6 to discuss Nix's resignation and schedule the special election for May 4. That's the same day as a regular elections have been scheduled for other City Council seats and local school board elections. 

Nix represents District 6, which includes a portion of the city that’s south of Fifth Street, east of South Broadway Avenue, and west of Paluxy Drive. He lives near the intersection of Paluxy and West Grande Avenue.

Prior to serving on the City Council, Nix served on the Planning and Zoning Commission from 2010 to 2013 and as the chairman of the city’s Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeals from 2008 to 2010.

Nix is self-employed as a residential builder. He owns Nix Construction, Inc., Nix Properties LLC, Hospitality House, and a residential subdivision called Guinn Estates. He and his wife, Stori, have a five-year-old daughter.

In a written statement describing his priorities, Nix highlighted his intent to continue the city government’s tradition of not taking on general obligation debt and paying for infrastructure through revenue from the half-percent sales tax, which many refer to as the city’s blueprint.

“In 1995 the voters approved the half cent sales tax with a pledge from the council to put in place a ‘pay as you go’ plan to eliminate debt and pay cash for our improvements,” Nix wrote. “This model has been embraced by every council since 1995 and as mayor I will continue this approach that has become a model for cities across the state of Texas.

“I want to continue to improve upon the blueprint that our city operates under and redouble our efforts to improve customer service to our taxpayers. The City of Tyler has dedicated and passionate employees who are engaged and eager to serve their employers -- the citizens of Tyler.

“Under my leadership, we will prioritize the blueprint and use it as the tool for direction, instruction, and to reward exemplary service. The number one priority of city government should be public safety and with this in mind we will continue to support our police and fire departments and make sure they have the resources needed to protect and care for our community.”

Nix also described a commitment to improving infrastructure to account for rapid growth in the area, and support for improving traffic flow, including a study approved under Heines to modernize the city’s traffic light system.

After the special election is called, those interested in running for Nix's vacant City Council seat will have until 5 p.m. on March 25 to file paperwork with the Tyler City Clerk, 212 N. Bonner Ave.

The candidate filing paperwork is available in English and Spanish in the City Clerk's office and on the city's website. A link is available at https://bit.ly/2spguq5.

TWITTER and INSTAGRAM: @_erinmansfield

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