By Sean Wardwell
Killeen Daily Herald
The current Killeen city council is no more.
A brief meeting Thursday night to canvass the results from the Nov. 8 election concluded a controversial and divisive period in the city's history.
The special meeting, which had a heavy police presence, lasted 20 minutes and ended in applause from audience members who packed the conference room.
While council members Terry Clark and Michael Lower left the room to examine the election totals, Killeen Mayor Timothy Hancock said: "When (Clark and Lower) return, it's all over. We will not have a council. There's no more hating. It's done. Finished. There's no more council."
The special meeting was originally a formality, with only remaining council members Clark and Lower needed to canvass the vote. However, a request made earlier this week by former Councilman Larry Cole to
reconsider an amendment to the city's drainage design manual brought one final note of drama to the now defunct council.
Drainage issue ignored
Cole's request, brought on by developers' lobbying, didn't get far Thursday. Almost immediately after the meeting began, former Mayor Pro Tem Scott Cosper made a motion to take the item off the agenda. Former Councilman Billy Workman seconded the motion, which passed 4-1, with Cole voting to keep the item on the agenda.
Former council members Juan Rivera and Kenny Wells did not attend the meeting.
Local developer and former council member JoAnn Purser said after the meeting that the council's decision not to discuss the item would have a trickle-down effect on residents.
"I think the citizens of Killeen do not realize what one small group have done. One percent of Killeen has decided to change the industry of Killeen - a specific part of Killeen," said Purser, who was one of the developers who lobbied for a reconsideration of the drainage issue. "I don't think they realize what they've done."
Clark's drainage amendment mandates that water cannot rise above a curb during a 25-year flood. Both the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Copperas Cove adhere to that standard, while Harker Heights exceeds the guideline. But some developers felt a rise of 3 inches was sufficient.
Recall organizer Jonathan Okray was glad the council decided to only consider the canvassing of the votes. "I'm just baffled it was even put on there, but once it was moved off, (the meeting) went pretty fast after that."
The meeting ended with a final round of applause, when Hancock informed the conference room crowd that the council was no more.
Contact Sean Wardwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7552. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcity.
Killeen recall vote
On Nov. 8, 3,790 Killeen residents voted in the recall election.
For the recall - 2,693
Against - 856
For the recall - 2,679
Against - 855
For the recall - 460
Against - 285
For the recall - 522
Against - 191
For the recall - 2,467
Against - 1,083
Source: City of Killeen