The Killeen City Council approved a new executive director of Support Services on Tuesday, hiring Stuart “Stu” McLennan, who is also a candidate for Place 1 in the May 11 Harker Heights City Council race.
In the position, McLennan will oversee the divisions of custodial, building and fleet services, the print shop and purchasing for the city of Killeen.
After his appointment Tuesday, McLennan — a resident of Harker Heights — said he will continue his campaign for council in Harker Heights.
“This is a unique opportunity to encourage local opportunity and regional synergy,” McLennan said. “There is no conflict of interest.”
McLennan, a military retiree, served 34 years in Army leadership positions and holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University.
If elected in May, McLennan will not be the first in the area to be employed by one city and serve as an elected official in another. Nolanville Police Chief Gary Kent serves on the Copperas Cove City Council.
In other business Tuesday, the Killeen council authorized the purchase of a $592,000 property on East Central Texas Expressway, after taking steps to acquire the property through the exercise of eminent domain.
Eminent domain allows federal, state and local governments to take private property for public use by purchasing it at fair market value.
The 0.8-acre property is located in the right of way of the U.S. Highway 190-Rosewood Drive expansion project, which broke ground Friday.
Funds are available for the purchase through the project’s $32 million budget, which is funded through the state pass-through funding program.
Pass-through funding means the Texas Department of Transportation will reimburse the city after it completes the project with local funds.
Bell County appraised the property on Central Texas Expressway at $467,150; however, the property owner claimed it was worth $740,000, according to city documents.
The council was pleased to make a deal without having to take its eminent domain case any further, Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin said.
“(The agreement) was so close to what we had offered, we had very little to gain and a lot to lose,” Corbin said.