• August 21, 2014

Killeen council reaches consensus on ballot issues

Voters to consider 30 propositions to change city charter

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 4:30 am

The Killeen City Council reached consensus Tuesday to place 30 propositions on the May 11 ballot to amend the city charter.

The propositions total about 75 individual changes to the document, which is considered the city’s constitution.

One of the propositions calls for an overhaul of Section 113, the provision that stipulates the process for recall petitions.

As a result of legal inconsistencies in the section, the city was limited in its ability to regulate the November 2011 recall that removed five of the city’s seven council members.

In 2011, the city accepted signatures from residents citywide on recall petitions for district council members.

Proposition 26 requires that petitions to recall a district council member must be signed by registered voters in that council member’s district in a number greater than 50 percent of the total number of voters in the last election in which that district seat was filled.

Although the change was not unanimous, the majority of the council supported restricting petition signatures to district voters.

“If you live in your district and you vote that person in, you should be the person to vote that person out,” Councilman Jose Segarra said.

Despite the multitude of changes, the council decided by consensus that extending council term lengths and returning to an all-citywide elected council will not be among the issues decided by voters in May.

The final consensus was no surprise to Mayor Dan Corbin, who does not have a vote on the council.

Corbin had championed the two issues throughout the four-month charter review.

Placing a proposition on the ballot for an all-citywide elected council was unanimously opposed by the other council members.

“We vote and we move on,” Corbin said.

Before the council voted on the individual issues, District 3 Councilman Terry Clark made a proposal to stop the May charter election and form a citizen charter commission to review the changes before the election is held.

Clark’s opinion was that residents will not have enough time to study the proposed changes before the election.

“We are really asking a lot of the electorate,” Clark said. “If we stop trying to race the clock, we could now turn the work we’ve done over to a committee of citizens to review.”

Clark also said it would be best to pair the charter election with a mayoral election, when voter turnout is historically higher.

The next mayoral election will be held in May 2014.

Mayor Pro Tem Michael Lower and Councilman Jonathan Okray supported Clark’s proposal; however, it did not have the majority of the council it needed to stop the election.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Blackstone supported holding the charter election in May. “I think we have given the citizens ample opportunity to study the charter, and most of the changes we’ve made are not substantial,” Blackstone said. “I don’t see that we’re doing anybody any favors by postponing it for another year.”

In order to form 30 propositions from a list of 75 amendments, city staff grouped several of the nonsubstantial changes into single propositions.

City staff grouped 14 deletions or amendments of charter language that is either obsolete, redundant or outdated in order to form Proposition 3. Proposition 4 is composed of 18 changes where state law supersedes the charter and makes a provision unnecessary.

“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for voters,” City Attorney Kathy Davis said. “If we can find a way to make it clearer for voters, we are going to do that.”

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Eliza posted at 10:03 am on Wed, Jan 30, 2013.

    Eliza Posts: 710

    Even though there will be many voters city wide, or even in district areas, who will be unhappy with the decisions made by members of the council on the voting procedure of city elections.
    The last 4 weeks of decision making by the council, have at least shown and allowed the voters to see , how the members of council feel toward the voters as a whole,and who has more influence over them,more so then other citizens,in their running of city government.
    Instead of all citizens being represented by all the council when they need to make a call on spending the tax money of all the tax paying voters. There still needs for some reason, a special voting procedure to be done along the line of voting for certain special interest groups.

    I do want to commend former Mayor Hancock for taking time to speak to the council, on city wide elections being allowed so all city wide voters, would have a chance to vote on all members of their city council.

    In his plea before council on this subject ,Mr Hancock, showed his wanting the same type privilege of voting for all people, by not separating the citizens on the important subject of this privilege.
    He quoted the 1965 ruling by federal law that the same voting rights to be the right for all citizens.

    In the refusal of city wide voting being allowed in Killeen, by theory, its kind of like Killeen, has now regressed back to the time period before basic voting for all in elections were allowed.

    There was a man who stated the words years ago in his countrys fight for freedom , 'this will be our finest hour'.
    I believe the words Mr Hancock used for the benefit of All Killeen citizens may be his finest words and will sit a special place for him later. I personally thank him for his quest for the people.

    We have saw in the last years the races,the ones of different monetary values and even the sexes tallied against each other through members of the federal government. It never works ,but only causes disruption.
    And in the very end is shown, it wasn't done for the betterment of the people as a whole, but done for the selfish purpose of a few.