By Justin Cox
Killeen Daily Herald
A week ago, the issue of committee appointments took an emotional turn in the Killeen City Council's workshop. Professional disagreements escalated into personal attacks.
After spending well over two hours discussing the appointments to the land-use and smoking committees in the past two weeks, the council spent just 13 minutes on the topic during Tuesday's workshop, eventually voting 5-2 in regular session to approve Mayor Tim Hancock's appointments.
Councilmen Larry Cole and Billy Workman were the dissenting votes. Cole had been chair of the land-use committee but was not reappointed. Workman was not named to the smoking committee, which he had chaired previously.
Workman was the only one to voice opposition at the time of the vote, and took the time to do a bit of politicking.
"I feel as I stated before that Mr. Larry Cole and myself have not been afforded the opportunity. I don't understand being taken off," Workman said, referring to his former position as chair of the smoking committee. "You're the mayor, and I make my vote. When I become mayor, I'll ask the council to discuss what committees they'd like to be on."
Appointed to the land-use committee were chair Juan Rivera, Ernest Wilkerson and JoAnn Purser, with Bruce Whitis and Craig Langford to remain as voting members.
The smoking committee now includes just two co-chairs, Juan Rivera and Kenny Wells.
Cole, who was unable to attend last week, read his comments in a letter, much like Hancock did a week ago.
He explained that he still feels that he should be on the committee. He also said he disagreed with the mayor's decision to reappoint Juan Rivera to the committee, since Rivera agreed with Cole's original assessment that the land-use committee be dissolved.
He also stated that two of the appointees had come forward and offered to step down and allow Cole to take their place.
Councilman Scott Cosper offered a plea to vote on the issue and just end it.
"The majority of the council confirms the appointments. With that, the majority rules," Cosper said. "I believe we should vote on them, and I plead with the council that we vote on them.
Councilman Kenny Wells said the council has better things to do.
"I think it's important we get it done and move to the next agenda items," Wells said. "There are more important things for the council to do. Mr. Cole is unhappy with the decision, but Mr. Cole is on 10 other committees, and he does a good job on those committees. No one was fired or kicked off a committee. I believe that new appointments are made each year, and I believe new blood is welcome from time to time."
In other action, the council approved $4.1 million in cuts amending the current fiscal year budget. Look for more on that and other council discussion topics in Thursday's edition of the Daily Herald.
Contact Justin Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568.