By Sean Wardwell
Killeen Daily Herald
District Judge J.F. Clawson ordered Monday that Killeen set its election for open city council seats for May 12, leaving the city without a council for the next six months.
The order covers the general election for mayor, as well as the three open at-large seats. In addition, a special election to fill the one-year, unexpired terms of Districts 1 and 2 will be held. Those terms run through May 2013.
"That's exactly what I wanted," said Killeen Mayor Timothy Hancock. "It's the best decision possible."
The city originally asked the court to set a Feb. 4 special election. Clawson denied that request for reasons not mentioned in his order. However, the city charter does state that seats left vacant in a recall would be filled at the next uniform election date - which in this case is May 12.
"The judge saw fit to follow the city's charter," said City of Killeen Director of Public Information Hilary Shine. "We're preparing ourselves for a May election."
Killeen City Manager Glenn Morrison said in an earlier interview that if the city was unable to get the February election date, it would wait until May. The city still had the option of requesting an April election date as well.
The timing of the election is sensitive because state law forbids holding any election 30 days before or after a general primary election or primary runoff. As Texas holds its primary election on March 6, this left most of the first part of 2012 unavailable.
Candidates will be able to file for mayor or any of the open council seats starting Feb. 4. Filing will end on March 5. Anyone interested in serving can contact the City Secretary Paula Miller at 501-7600 for filing details.
Killeen was left without a council quorum, due to the successful Nov. 8 recall of former Councilmen Scott Cosper, Kenny Wells, Juan Rivera, Larry Cole and Billy Workman. Under law, the city cannot consider any new business until a quorum on the council has been re-established.
Contact Sean Wardwell at email@example.com or (254) 501-7552.