Seven members and two alternates were approved Tuesday to join the Copperas Cove Citizens Forum to begin voicing their concerns and support of the way the city government operates.
Public Information Officer Kevin Keller said 18 citizens expressed an interest in serving on the forum and 11 submitted applications. Those selected to serve are Christian Mulvey, Marcella Lowery, Mark Payne, Orlando Torres, Regina Vargas, Ronald Gerne, and Ronnie Viss. The alternates were Azeita Taylor and Sandor Vegh.
Keller said results from citizens forums are beneficial because of the information that can be obtained.
Councilman Jim Schmitz expressed a desire to have all nine members serve rather than just seven. However, City Manager Andrea Gardner said the smaller number was easier for her to manage.
“I wanted to stick with the same number as in employee focus groups. It is difficult to manage beyond that,” Gardner said. “I would like to see a higher number of alternates.”
Councilman Kenn Smith questioned why Vegh and Taylor were being “marginalized” stating both have contributed a great deal to the city. Gardner said they were already involved in other city committees.
“We are trying to get as many new faces and ideas as we could possibly get,” Gardner said.
Citizen forum members Marcella Lowery and Mark Payne both also serve on the Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful Committee. Lowery said her service on the citizens’ forum will be directed toward building citizen pride in the community.
“Most everyone here is a transient and has no vested interest in making the city their own,” Lowery said. “I would like to get the military more involved and help them enjoy their time while they are here in Cove.”
Mark Payne has yet to determine where he will focus his efforts on the forum.
“I have to wait to see what the goals are and where I can contribute,” Payne said.