By Philip Jankowski

Killeen Daily Herald

A full council was sworn in Tuesday for the first official meeting of a quorum of the Killeen City Council since a recall election removed five members in November.

"We're opening a new chapter in the city of Killeen, and we need to look forward, not backward," said new Mayor Dan Corbin.

City Secretary Paula Miller swore in Corbin and five council members after Saturday's election results were made official.

Council members taking the oath office were Wayne Gilmore, in the District 1 seat; José Segarra in District 2; and Elizabeth Blackstone, Jonathan Okray and Jared Foster, the three at-large members.

Prior to canvassing the vote, outgoing Mayor Timothy Hancock announced that 38 voters within District 2 were given incorrect ballots that did not give those residents an option to vote in the District 2 council race.

But because Segarra won the District 2 race by 80 votes, Hancock said the incorrect ballots had no affect on the election's outcome.

Though no official action was taken, at the urging of Corbin, the council gave city staff guidance on protocol for city meetings.

Corbin suggested that all council meetings and workshops should be televised and archived online. He also requested that the start of workshop meetings be moved from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. to allow working people the opportunity to attend those sessions.

The new mayor made all suggestions in the interest of government transparency, he said.

Corbin also made televising workshop meetings an issue while serving as a councilman.

In the fall of 2004, Corbin briefly refused to attend workshop meetings because they were not televised. He eventually relented after he received input from residents, according to Herald archives.

Tuesday's meeting began what will be an accelerated orientation schedule for the council. Corbin said new members usually join a council with a wealth of experience.

However, the new council has a little more than three years of total experience in city government. Most of that experience is tied to Corbin, who is serving in a largely ceremonial role.

Multiple workshop meetings are expected to be scheduled, with the first one set for

5 p.m. Thursday.

Training began Tuesday with introductions to all department heads and a presentation on open meetings law from City Attorney Kathy Davis.

On Thursday, the council members will review a multitude of items that may come up in their first action meeting, set for Tuesday.

Contact Philip Jankowski at philipj@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7553.

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