By Sarah Chacko
Killeen Daily Herald
An inconspicuous agenda item holds the future of one of Killeens most important positions.
The Killeen City Council will decide today if Acting City Manager Connie Green will take on the position permanently.
Green, who has been the interim since former City Manager David Blackburns announcement to resign in March, will be considered for the appointment at the 6 p.m. council meeting.
The council will also hold a 4 p.m. workshop prior to the meeting in City Hall at 101 N. College St.
Green, 43, came to Killeen in 1990 as the finance director. He added assistant city manager to his title in 2001.
Several council members have said they were surprised to see the appointment listed on the consent agenda an item that could be passed without discussion at all when the council has not had a closed session or seen a contract for the position.
Councilman Dick Young said he thinks there should be a discussion prior to todays meeting where he may get his questions answered.
We dont want to get back in the same position we were in before with a contract that didnt protect city, he said.
The council expressed some dissatisfaction with the city managers contract when Blackburn announced he was a candidate for the same job in Temple, noting that the document allowed him to leave the city at any time.
As acting city manager, Green received the same package as Blackburn $130,000 in annual salary, plus benefits which is customary because of the added responsibilities.
Councilman Dan Corbin, who requested the item be put on an agenda, said he thought it would come up like any consent item and could be pulled for discussion. Major provisions, like salary and car allowance, should be worked out and can be discussed in closed session.
Young said the faster the city makes a transition, the better off they are. Filling the position would eliminate some of the uncertainty in staff.
I think we owe it to our employees and citizens to exercise due diligence, he said.
Councilman Fred Latham said though the council hasnt met on this issue, he had hoped they would be able to speak with Green.
The kind of questions youre asking me are the kind I would hope wed ask each other, he said.
In his experience on the council, Latham said he was not used to seeing such an important decision as a consent agenda item.
Corbin said he thought either the item would be postponed until the budget is over so the council can see how Green performs, or it will go ahead for approval.
In the last few months that Greens been holding the position, Corbin said he hasnt heard anyone mention hiring a search team.
That would indicate to me that we dont have a lot of hesitations that Mr. Greens our man, he said.
Green said he didnt have any objections to changing his title. He has been doing the job as if he was the city manager without hesitation.
I worked hard the last three months to gain the confidence of the council, city and staff, he said.
Already hinting at taking a more proactive approach to city issues in the future, Green said he has been working on areas to be a better manager.
The plate is full, he said. Hopefully the council will decide Im the right person for the job.
Contact Sarah Chacko at email@example.com