By Sean Wardwell
Killeen Daily Herald
Killeen's city council recall election is three weeks away, and even with the possibility of losing a quorum, city business is proceeding as normal.
City staffers and council members said they aren't accelerating municipal matters that require council votes in anticipation of having vacancies after the recall.
"There's been no discussions I know of (on accelerating business). But, I think it would be prudent for staff to bring business before us (if needed)," said Killeen Mayor Pro Tem Scott Cosper. "Hope for the best, but plan for any contingencies."
Councilman Billy Workman said: "As far as the business of the city pushing forward in case of the recall, I don't see that."
"I review the agendas as they're presented to me," said Councilman Terry Clark, who isn't subject to the recall. "If they're accelerated or not, I do not know."
Other Texas cities that underwent a recall election, such as College Station, said they did not front-load business before the council in anticipation of losing a quorum.
"It all depends on what needs to go (before the council)," said Tanya McNutt, deputy city secretary in College Station. "I would say, if need be and it was something that needed (to go before the council), then yes."
Some city officials, including those in Copperas Cove and Haltom City, could not be reached for comment about recalls. However, Copperas Cove was left in a state of disarray after its recall in November 2008, with four council members voted out of office.
Copperas Cove's city manager was granted some authority. But until a full council was sworn in three months after the recall, no matter requiring council approval was considered.
In a June interview, Copperas Cove City Manager Andrea Gardner said that when faced with its own recall, the city made efforts to ensure city business moved forward.
She said certain financial decisions couldn't be made while the council couldn't meet, including those involving grant approvals.
"There were many other incidents similar to the grants that required the city manager to seek an exception to the norm or an extension," said Gardner. "Besides teamwork, prior planning and organization were key factors to ensuring the loss of the governing body didn't negatively impact the city's operations."
Gardner remembers the months leading up to the recall and the preparation that was taken to keep the city moving forward without a governing body.
"I worked with city staff to plan ahead by scheduling items, considered routine, on the agenda months before they would normally appear," she said. "One key element was once the recall election resulted in the loss of a quorum was the teamwork between the city manager, city staff and the city attorney."
Contact Sean Wardwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7552.