By Hailey Persinger

Killeen Daily Herald

For some Killeen City Council members, the last meeting of the year will serve as a preview of issues to tackle come January.

Today, before the council begins a three-week break, members are scheduled to discuss several issues that they say will likely carry over into the new year, including the First Baptist Church redevelopment project and adoption of a proposed "City of Character" program.

"Probably the most outfront thing will be the First Baptist Church revitalization project," Councilman Kenny Wells said.

"I'm sure it'll take several votes on various issues, but I think that will be the very thing that comes to the forefront in the new year."

The council is scheduled to vote tonight on a design service contract with Killeen-based Jamail Construction for the First Baptist Church project.

Richard Milburn Academy and Killeen's Head Start program now will occupy parts of the former church, but the council is still mulling over what could fill the rest of the space.

Another agenda item anticipated to spill over into 2010 is the adoption of a program that Councilman Ernest Wilkerson said aims to bring ethics to the forefront of city leadership.

"That's one of the major things we can get working on," he said. "About four to five years ago, we were really trying to make Killeen a city of character, to make sure the city is run by certain principles."

The council is set to discuss the City of Character program during its 1 p.m. workshop.

Other items council

members hope to look into include what Wilkerson called "activity-based management" to ensure efficiency of city government, mid-term budgetary concerns and potential alterations to the city's smoking ban.

Councilman Juan Rivera said the one thing that cannot get left behind is the city's employee health insurance policy.

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