The Killeen City Council swore in two-thirds of its newest members at a special meeting Tuesday, with Councilman-elect Hugh “Butch” Menking on a pre-planned vacation.
Incumbent Mayor Jose Segarra, and Councilmen Gregory Johnson and Juan Rivera took the oath, officially taking their seats on the council after a May 5 election that skewed heavily for incumbents.
Johnson, Rivera and Menking were elected to three at-large seats on the council from a group of 12 candidates. Segarra won re-election to his seat over four challengers in a landslide, securing 59 percent of the electorate.
Menking, a financial planner and former Killeen school district board member, will take over the seat left vacant by Councilman Jonathan Okray, who termed off the council after six years.
Johnson will take over in his second term on the council after reining in the most votes in the council race, with 18.8 percent of the electorate. Rivera, entering his fifth non-consecutive term on the council, finished third in voting with 12.1 percent of the electorate.
After being sworn in, Segarra said he was excited for the council’s work ahead despite a number of challenges.
“We have a lot of challenges ahead of us, but this is a great council,” Segarra said.
Following the swearing in, the council voted 4-3 to re-appoint Jim Kilpatrick as mayor pro tem.
For the second round in a row, Johnson, Councilman Steve Harris and Shirley voted to appoint Johnson to the role, but a tie-breaking vote from Segarra gave the position back to Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick, a second-term District 3 council member, has served as mayor pro tem since May 2016.
Following the special meeting, the council held a workshop session with council protocol at the top of the docket.
The protocol policy package, last delayed by the council in late February, will act as a single-source document for meeting and committee appointment protocol, largely borrowed from Roberts’ Rules of Order.
The policy will incorporate the council’s established rules of conduct as well as formalize the committee-forming process and require council members to sign ethics agreements.
The council also held an abortive prioritization session Tuesday after the council failed to reach a consensus on discussion topics moving ahead.
Killeen City Manager Ron Olson, who presented the council with a list of roughly 20 items, scrapped the session in favor a new discussion session that is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday following a regular meeting.
Olson said his highest priorities in the immediate future were council protocol, a review of the fiscal year 2019 budget and discussions over a street maintenance fee that council has debated for more than two years.