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'That explosion is not going to define the city': West Mayor says farewell after more than a decade

Posted at 7:40 PM, Nov 17, 2023

WEST, Texas — After more than a decade, Tommy Muska is stepping down as Mayor of West.

Mayor Muska has seen a lot through his time, one big moment the West plant explosion in 2013.

“You know I thought when I became Mayor that it was going to be dogs and potholes, and it turned out to be just a little bit more than that," Muska said.

Tommy Muska has been the Mayor of West for the past 12 years, and during his time—one day he will never forget—April 17, 2013

“I was there and then I turned from fireman to mayor you know in an instant,” said Muska.

The tragic fertilizer plant explosion that left 15 people dead and hundreds of homes destroyed.

“We went through probably one of the most challenging, you know, years that the city has ever gone through,” he said.

Through those challenging moments, Muska made it his personal mission to ensure the recovery of his hometown.

“That explosion is not going to define the city of West,. The recovery of that explosion is going to define the people of the City of West,” Muska said.

The love for his people was a driving factor in changing state legislature. Ammonium nitrate, the cause of the west explosion, can no longer be stored in combustible buildings.

“I learned a lot about ammonium nitrate,” he said.

Muska left his mark on the city and now, after more than a decade, he’s proud of all he’s accomplished.

“I think you know every mayor wants to leave the city better than the way he found it. And it think I’ve done that,” he said.

Muska ran for Mayor to give back to his city. Now he plans to focus on his family, he said if you need to find him, he’ll either be on the golf course or fishing. Muska's final day as Mayor is December 5, 2023.