By Anthony Scott
Killeen Daily Herald
Discussion for an outside investigation into circumstances surrounding the council's buyout of city manager Connie Green was cut short by a 3-2 vote.
The item was brought forward at Killeen's Tuesday workshop by Councilman Larry Cole, who asked that discussion about a possible investigation by outside authorities be delayed until all council members were present; he found little support.
Councilmembers JoAnn Purser, Kenny Wells and Billy Workman were not at the workshop. Workman showed up later for the regular meeting.
Councilman Juan Rivera was in favor of delaying discussion along with Cole; however, Mayor Tim Hancock used his tie breaking vote, along with Councilmen Ernest Wilkerson and Scott Cosper, to block tabling discussion to another meeting.
Cole initially made the request to delay the discussion; however, Hancock let Wilkerson speak on the subject, who suggested the council move on indefinitely.
"I think everybody knows what the circumstances are," Wilkerson said.
Cosper agreed that an investigation would not be productive unless something he didn't know about was brought forward.
Rivera disagreed, suggesting the district attorney investigate or someone else outside the city.
"If we're going to get investigated, let's get investigated by the proper authority," he said.
Cole spoke last on the subject, noting that allegations are still circulating concerning the city's $750,000 buyout to get rid of Green.
"In my opinion, this is not going to go away with the citizens until an outside, reliable agency looks into the allegations that are out there," Cole said. "I think they ought to be addressed. If we had done that before we acted, Mr. Green had a 50/50 chance of being exonerated."
Cole further mentioned problems with the city's EMS Billing Department.
"The people want to know, and basically, I want to know what are the allegations there," Cole said. "Why did Mr. Green not want to release the information and what are the problems in EMS?"
Cole then pushed the item to a vote, and the motion to move discussion was denied. He can bring it back for future discussion as a new item on the agenda at another meeting.
Some duplexes denied
Two companies owned by Purser's husband, Gary Purser Jr., requested the council allow the construction of duplexes in two separate developments:
Killeen Sunflower Inc. requested the city rezone about 8 acres from single-family garden home zoning to allow for duplexes.
Four property owners within a 200-foot radius sent notices opposing the changes. The property is bound by Watercrest Road to the north, Bachelor Button Boulevard to the west and Foxglove Lane to the south and east.
Two people spoke in favor of allowing the duplexes. The change was approved 3-2, with Cole and Workman opposed.
RSBP Developers requested the city deviate from its comprehensive plan, which was approved in November 2010. The change would redesignate an area of about 6 acres on the east side of Bunny Trail as general residential, as opposed to suburban residential. This would allow for fewer restrictions on buildings in the area, such as an allowance for more duplexes.
The change further requested that the 6 acres be redesignated to an R-2 multifamily district, which is zoning set up for duplexes.
Council denied the request, 5-0.
Contact Anthony Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcity.