Car

The Killeen City Council reached a consensus at its workshop Tuesday to scale back city regulation on ground transportation companies to match recently approved state rules governing ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft.

Deputy City Attorney Traci Briggs presented a severely stripped-down draft ordinance to the council for transportation franchises and operating authorities that end requirements for city inspections, add two years to franchise agreement lengths and bring driver background checks in line with state rules.

Despite the lowered regulations, some council members were still concerned the $300 annual permit for vehicles — used to cover the city’s costs for permitting and background checks among other expenses — was not fair to ground transportation companies.

“I see the concern that we still haven’t leveled the playing field,” Councilman Jim Kilpatrick said.

Councilwoman Debbie Nash-King, who alongside Councilwoman Shirley Fleming attended a meeting of company stakeholders to work out a mutually beneficial ordinance, said the new regulations had the support of the transportation community.

“If we have to go back, we will, but the stakeholders had no problem with what we are bringing before you,” Nash-King said.

In the end, the council agreed to the stipulations in the draft ordinance and ordered the measure be brought back for a council vote.

In other business, the council was presented with a brief presentation outlining a package of city financial policies, including recommendations for the city’s external management audit.

Killeen City Manager Ron Olson said the full financial policy discussion — scheduled for a Nov. 28 workshop — is only the first step in the city’s push for policy reform over the course of the next few months.

“I think (the new policies) will be of tremendous help and we’ll just continue to march until we get to where we need to be,” he said.

Following the financial policy approval, Olson said he plans to bring forward new policies on council protocol and long-term municipal budget strategy.

At its workshop, the council also considered an ordinance to rezone approximately 1.855 acres at the intersection of Taylor Renee Drive and Chaparral Road to allow for duplex housing bordering a suburban residential neighborhood.

According to city planner Tony McIlwain, 67 residents in the area complained to the city about the request.

Due to the number of protests, McIlwain suggested the council rezone the land to “single-family residential,” which he said the protesters approved of.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

(2) comments

THUGNIFICENT KILLED ME

If some dude from NC can PRETEND to be Chief of police, why can't I pretend to be a taxi driver and pretend I have a fleet of 50 cabs? Yeah, I just get me a magnetic sign, slap it on my 1935 Ford (no need to have it insured or registered, I can PRETEND). No drivers license, I can just pretend to have one while studying to obtain mine, but getting them fares cause I gots to get paid, YO!

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

I have not been following the city regulation on ground transportation companies so I will not comment on this.

But in the area of 'other business', I still see the administration group 'holding back on areas such as the 'financial disclosure for the city of Killeen',

On November 6, 2017 it was noted that 'Killeen council to discuss fiscal policy Tuesday', and that 'Financial policy and how best to track and spend public money will be a focus Tuesday for the Killeen City Council on Election Day'.

And it stated that: 'As the council takes its next steps toward increased accountability, council members and city staff will look to track the implementation of 26 financial recommendations from Houston-based McConnell & Jones, the accounting firm that completed a city management audit Sept. 5'.

And it goes on to say 'According to a city presentation, the “basic framework for the fiscal management of the city” will be discussed, as well as an assortment of local and state laws and policies for evaluating current financial activities, proposals for future programs and to ensure a positive fiscal outlook'.
And then it goes on to say: 'According to a city presentation, the “basic framework for the fiscal management of the city” will be discussed, as well as an assortment of local and state laws and policies for evaluating current financial activities, proposals for future programs and to ensure a positive fiscal outlook.'

And it concludes with: 'The council will consider two options for refunding $30,295,000 in outstanding bonds, which will save the city $2.2 million over the life of the bonds, according to a city memorandum.
The recommended option can accomplish the savings without extending the term of the debt, the memo said.'

Question: Was any of the above items presented to the council this P.M.???? If so then why was it not discussed and posted in this newspaper with cause and intent????

Copy: 'In other business, the council was presented with a brief presentation outlining a package of city financial policies, including recommendations for the city’s external management audit.
Killeen City Manager Ron Olson said the full financial policy discussion — scheduled for a Nov. 28 workshop — is only the first step in the city’s push for policy reform over the course of the next few months.
“I think (the new policies) will be of tremendous help and we’ll just continue to march until we get to where we need to be,” he said.
Following the financial policy approval, Olson said he plans to bring forward new policies on council protocol and long-term municipal budget strategy.' End of copy.
I see a black cloud hanging over the council chambers resembling smoke. I tend to get the feeling that this administrative group is 'holding back' on it's presentations not wanting to divulge to this city council or the citizens just what is to be presented. Where is this city's 'transparency' if it is stated on November 6, 2017 that ' Killeen council to discuss fiscal policy Tuesday', but 'In other business, the council was presented with a brief presentation outlining a package of city financial policies'. What, no discussion???? How can this city ever get to a point where 'the city administration group is considered trustworthy???? Where was 'the discussion of fiscal policy when they only received 'a brief presentation of an outline'????
Where was the discussion on ' refunding $30,295,000 in outstanding bonds' that was supposed to be on this agenda'.
And what of the comprehensive agenda that was to include the 'plan for the future.???? I notice that this planning group is treating the city of Killeen like a postage stamp, hop scotching all over the place, first one and then another.

Copy: 'At its workshop, the council also considered an ordinance to rezone approximately 1.855 acres at the intersection of Taylor Renee Drive and Chaparral Road to allow for duplex housing bordering a suburban residential neighborhood.
According to city planner Tony McIlwain, 67 residents in the area complained to the city about the request.
Due to the number of protests, McIlwain suggested the council rezone the land to “single-family residential,” which he said the protesters approved of.' End of copy.

Is this really the way we want this city's architecture to be laid out????

What about the 100 or so individuals that attended the forum on the chemical plant and raised objections to it's placement???? I see 'they are going ahead with the permiting for the construction of this plant'. Is this permissible but the duplex is not because of complaints and it's to be rezoned 'single family residential'. Do we just 'change the city zoning on a whim????

I still it important that this council commit to a city council that is for the city proper and not one in which the minority of the city council can control what is to be done in this city and I believe this entails a shutdown of the fluidity of the KEDC in regards to overall management of the council with it's core of the council controlling. It seems that if this council does not take steps to once again gain the representation of this core group if city council by negating the voting power of KEDC members representing this city council causing a 4 member clause into the current by-laws or introduce legislation to be a 'superior, 6 to 1 council membership in all areas of this working city council, we will be right where we are now, behind the proverbial 8 ball right where we have been in the past, in the dark place treated like mushrooms with no communication regarding 'what is transpiring in this city'.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

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