ANTIOCH -- Councilman Gary Agopian announced last week that he will not seek re-election this November, citing his worsening health as he continues to battle cancer.
"I can't serve this community the way I would love to serve this community, unless I can give it 110 percent. And I can't give it that," Agopian said in a soft-spoken voice midway through the May 27 council meeting. "I want you all to know I love you, I've enjoyed serving you, I'll do the best I can for the time I have left ... and if I can make every council meeting, I will do it as I have to this point, and serve you to the very best of my ability."
The longtime civil servant received a standing ovation after his short, heartfelt speech. Agopian, 57, an Antioch councilman since 2010, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in September.
He stopped chemotherapy in April and had a biopsy in early May to see whether he could receive any experimental drugs. The doctors said his brain did not have the tumor protein deficiency required, so he is taking regular medications.
Agopian said Monday he finds himself lacking energy.
"I'm just going to try to be in position where I can make it through, and just honor the Lord in doing it," Agopian said. "Hopefully, I can be at the next meeting and take it meeting by meeting."
Agopian, a Los Angeles-area native and 19-year Antioch resident, started in politics as a school board trustee in 2004.
Two City Council seats are up for election in November. Councilman Tony Tiscareno, who was appointed in December 2012, has said he will run to keep his seat.
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.