By Sean Wardwell
Killeen Daily Herald
The question of how long is too long to serve on a city board or commission took center stage Tuesday at a Killeen City Council workshop.
District 3 Councilman Terry Clark asked that the council discuss limiting the terms of board members to no more than six years.
"We have talked many times since I've become a member of this council that Killeen is a fast-growing community," Clark said. "With any community that's growing as quickly as we are, that means there's a tremendous amount of talent that exists in this city."
Clark said that by instituting term limits, it would be possible to tap into this talent pool.
"Term limits offer citizens the opportunity to participate in the important business of their local government," Clark said. "If we allow people to continue to sit on committees for over six years, we're asking the same committee members to give and give."
However, Mayor Timothy Hancock advised council members that they have the authority to remove residents from committees at their discretion - an argument that swayed many councilmen away from Clark's proposal.
"I do not support (term limits) and I will not support it. We have a responsibility, and the problem is we have to face that responsibility," said District 2 Councilman Juan Rivera, adding that the council needs to be more active in determining how long someone stays on a committee, and not dismiss those who want to continue serving and are good at their positions.
Councilmen Larry Cole and Billy Workman both said they support the idea of term limits.
"Just like we have our term limits (on the council), what's wrong with those committee members having term limits?" Workman asked.
While not supporting the idea, Hancock suggested Clark bring the matter up at a future meeting for deliberation.
"Put it out there and let it fall where it may," Hancock said.
In other workshop business, the council received a legislative update from City Attorney Kathy Davis, who reported that out of the 6,303 bills filed during the last session of the Legislature, only 1,500 related to cities. Of that number, only 160 were signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry.
The council also discussed the possibility of appointing a committee to explore bringing a children's museum and dog park to Killeen.
Council members expressed personal support for both projects, but want to see more facts before moving forward.
Hancock advised Cole, who has been the driving force behind both projects, to work with city staff in determining feasibility before members are appointed to either committee.
Contact Sean Wardwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (245) 501-7552.