The Killeen City Council appointed Ann Farris as the city’s new assistant city manager of Internal Affairs during its regular meeting Tuesday.
Farris, 62, was chosen by City Manager Glenn Morrison from 50 candidates and will earn an annual salary of $130,000.
The position was created as part of Morrison’s reorganization of City Hall. Farris will oversee the departments of information technology, finance, human resources and support services.
A Killeen native, Farris is well known in Killeen for community involvement and for her long career with the Killeen Independent School District, which included seven years as KISD’s deputy superintendent.
“We know all about you. You’ve been a fixture in the community for many years and we’re excited to have you as a part of the team,” Mayor Dan Corbin said.
Farris, who has served as co-director of the Killeen Food Care Center since 2005, also announced Tuesday that her husband, co-director Gerald Farris, will take over her duties at the food bank.
In other business, the council appointed two new members of the five-member Civilian Employee Review Board, which is expected to meet soon to hear the appeals of two city employees who were fired last month, including the former finance director.
The council voted unanimously to approve Morrison’s recommendation of Valerie Jordan and Dirk Davis to the two vacant seats. Fredrick Bee, Rosa Hereford and Brockley Moore will make up the rest of the board.
During the second of four public hearings this month on proposed amendments to the city charter, former City Councilman Dick Young spoke out against the multitude of changes to the charter the council has proposed.
“I am not sure that this is not a response to your desires and not the people’s desires,” Young said. “I don’t see people clamoring for change.”
Many of the changes proposed by the council include deleting sections of the 63-year-old document, which are no longer in use, such as a provision authorizing the city to operate a hospital.
“It’s been in there and it’s not hurting anything, so why take it out?” Young said.
Corbin repeated a statement he has made throughout the charter review process, that by not putting amendments on the ballot, the council has decided for the voters what changes will be made to their government.
The two most substantial changes not currently on the ballot are extending council term lengths from two to three years and getting rid of single-member districts, which voters elected in 2005.
“I think we need to get as much participation from the citizens as we can and we need to put this on the ballot,” Corbin said.
The downside of three-year council term lengths is runoff elections are more common, Corbin said.
The upside is council members spend less time campaigning for re-election during their term.
Former City Councilwoman Claudia Brown presented a petition signed by 22 residents requesting that the city keep single-member districts but extend council term lengths from two to three years.
The council has until Feb. 12 to finalize a ballot for approval by the U.S. Department of Justice for a May election.
Contact Brandon Janes at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7552