The Killeen City Council will consider giving City Manager Ron Olson more annual vacation time and deferred compensation at its workshop session Tuesday.

The council will vote on two addenda to Olson’s contract that will extend his vacation time from four to six weeks and provide an additional $4,000 in deferred compensation each year. Olson’s annual performance review was conducted in closed session Tuesday.

Olson, 68, was hired on with the city in February 2017 with 38 years of city management experience. Olson previously served as city manager of Corpus Christi. He also held executive posts in Middletown, Ohio; Belding, Mich.; West Jordan, Utah; and served as deputy city manager of Arlington.

Under his current contract, Olson makes $225,000 in annual base salary with $18,000 in deferred compensation retirement benefits.

Upon his hiring, Olson was also given a $7,200 car allowance and a $10,000 housing and relocation allowance.

The new benefits would bring Olson’s annual payout to roughly $247,000.

Also on Tuesday, the council will consider accepting an annual audit report from Houston-based Belt Harris Pechacek accounting firm.

Belt Harris Pechacek, hired by the city Aug. 8, was paid $127,450 for the fiscal year 2017 audit with another guaranteed year on its contract.

Robert Harris, a partner with the firm, applauded the city administration’s cooperation and financial preparation and said the results showed strong controls.

“For a city this size, this is probably the lowest amount of alterations we’ve had to make to any audit all year.”

Although the city has received a slate of “clean” external audits for years, the federally mandated annual reviews are limited in scope and insight.

Because an annual audit is not forensic in nature and only examines the city’s financial framework in a given fiscal year, routine audits presented the city’s finances as stable and did not address signs of distress in recent years.

By federal law, cities’ comprehensive annual financial reports produced each fiscal year must be audited by an outside accounting firm for compliance with Governmental Accounting Standards Board requirements. The central aspect of the review is “material weakness,” or a given municipality’s lack of adherence to internal and GASB standards.

However, the national accounting standards do not consider long-term planning, strength of financial policies and controls, and other concerns raised during the city’s special management audit completed in August.

According to the special audit, conducted by Houston-based McConnell & Jones, the city maintained a weak financial policy framework and utilized short-term decision making in capital improvements and bond issuances. Other areas of concern included weak oversight of “city owner” development agreements, improper transfers of bond proceeds and more.

The council’s meeting will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the council chambers at City Hall, 101 N. College St.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

(5) comments

THUGNIFICENT KILLED ME

Hu$h money, honey. You gotta pay to play. If you want to keep them $ecret$ $afe, you gotta $pread the dough around, $onny.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

Well I'm having to write on this article as I'm locked out of the KDH.

And I will answer in this column as to what my personal opinion is:

Copy: 'Killeen council to consider city manager benefits.'
And: Copy: 'Killeen council to discuss economic development.' End of copy.

As usual, I don't want or like the 'secretiveness or lack of transparency' that this council is now to be considered as unhealthful by this city's secrecy that has been increasing ever since this city manager was hired. I think it should be be noted that this what I consider as 'the famous 4 city council persons' who instill the essence of a simple majority while the city council has 7 members but they don't count. I've said this all along that with the impetus being supplied by the 'new blood' of this city administration, the transparency has diminished, the secretiveness of this council has increased in that there is not minuted meetings being held with the votes of each member being addressed so that the citizenry can be made aware of just how their individual council person is voting. Their voting record should be 'above board and not held in secrecy' as so many of the votes have been in the past.

If you are not for this action, let it known on May5, 2018 at the voting booth. Maybe we can stop this action in it's tracks.

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.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@Pharon Enochs: Thank you. I was beginning to wonder, 'is this news paper just for my edification'???? Is there no one else that wants to read what I have to say????
Yes, it makes you wonder how the lack of newspaper readers compares with the newspaper polls when it is a factor of 60 to 85 percent against this city and it's rulings, but the council continues to plug along doing just what they set out to do.

If the newspaper poll is indeed correct, then we should see a new city council, a new mayor, a defeat of the two amendments that are on the ballot and we should see a defeat in the outrageous salary and deferred compensation that this city council wants to award him. And lets see 'who is voting to give him this raise, name and vote of each and every council person please'.
Yes it makes one wonder why more people are not up in arms about the way this city operates, or does not operate, you can take this either way.
Yes I agree with @Pharon Enochs: I believe you could write a book on the things that this city does not seem to notice, but the 3,750 home project development and the high school, and the water plant are all of equal importance, right at the top.

Again, thank you for your investiture as to what is wrong with our city government and what needs to be done to correct this problem once and for all.

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.

Pharon Enochs

The following comments are indeed the opinions of Pharon Enochs, It is amazing how some things are quickly placed on the council's agenda and other items has to follow some bull dung involved procedure. Does the council really want a balanced budget ? Is the city manager working on a budget which allows the council to line his pockets with silver from the hard working tax payers of this city? Will the council vote to not pass this item? Will then city manager turn it down if offered to continue on his quest making the city finance solid. Alvin I could not agree with you more so rather than me ramble on about the topics you spoke about, I suggest folks read your message at least twice to let your message sink in. Included with the the water bill statement this month was a glowing lists of great things which had been accomplished in the city this year. Not mentioned were things about the problems found on the real audit, the crime rate was also missing, tension in the police department which employees are experiencing was not mentioned, information about the north side roadways being in disrepair was also missing. There was mentions of additions to the hike and bike trail and some other south side road projects. Perhaps I am wrong but I believe there was a blip about Lowes Blvd. extending to Florence Road. This maybe true if you have a rough terrain vehicle. How does one secure a city facility to hold a public forum regarding political topics?
I wonder if I could get permission to use such a facility to encourage the public to get out and vote but not to vote for people who I consider should not be on the city council which includes a majority of four and if one of the four is missing then the mayor? God bless America, President Trump and John Wayne wherever he may be.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

Copy: 'The Killeen City Council will consider giving City Manager Ron Olson more annual vacation time and deferred compensation at its workshop session Tuesday.'

Continuation of copy: 'The council will vote on two addenda to Olson’s contract that will extend his vacation time from four to six weeks and provide an additional $4,000 in deferred compensation each year. Olson’s annual performance review was conducted in closed session Tuesday.' End of copy.

My question is 'WHY'..... Why does this city council want to extend his annual vacation to 6 weeks, after just one year of service, and to increase his 'deferred compensation by an additional $4,000' that will boost his salary to in the neighborhood of $247,000 dollars. That's a nice salary, rough or not, to be in. And what is the annual take home pay for the citizens of Killeen, I seem to remember the number of say $30,000 dollars as the average of what someone from Killeen gets in salary. You know that a clerk, which is the predominant position around here, has to settle for this type of salary. The average COL, Cost of Living, was a little over 2 percent. How did you fair????

The poll in this newspaper has been consistently against this city government. This weeks poll question was 'Do you think city council members should concern themselves with the finer points of the city budget?'

As of 1800 on Saturday night, with a weeks worth of this question already in existence was: Yes – 74.6 percent, No – 23 percent, and Undecided – 2.4 percent which equates to 100 percentage points.

The questions have been running as to in the margin of 'Yes, we should have a better city council who votes the way the citizens want, not on their own'. Yes it's been said, by the city council that 'you voted to elect me to do your bidding'. Well, when are you going to start, 'doing our bidding city council'????

I was under the impression that the starting salary by the city of Killeen, Texas was in the neighborhood of somewhere around $170,000 dollars, now this newspaper is saying his salary is $225,000 dollars with an adjustment of $18,000 in deferred payments, which came up to a salary of $247,000 dollars. Is this also to include the additional $4,000 dollars of deferred income and what about the $7,200 car allowance? Are you people on the level???? Then I am going to request again that 'it should take a super majority of the sitting council', at least 6 out of the 7 city council, or better yet, 'take it out of the realm of a city council and let the citizens hire and settle the city managers salary range, make adjustment to the city managers salary, in total including any and all salary adjustments, and the firing the city manager. This should not be in the hands of the city council.

This will place him in a position that equates to the KISD school superintendent at a salary that is over one quarter of a million dollars. Now this city manager is set to be just under a quarter of a million dollars at $247,000 dollars.

I just hope that this city council will see the daylight and go for a negative vote on this absurd amount of money.

Question: Who brought this up before this council in the first place????

This should be by an open session, city of Killeen, city council meeting where the citizens can see and hear what the vote is as recorded by each and every city council person and this vote be recorded for prosperity.

And as to the city council accepting an annual audit report from the Houston-based Belt Harris Pechacek accounting firm: Well lets see:

1. “For a city this size, this is probably the lowest amount of alterations we’ve had to make to any audit all year.”
2. Although the city has received a slate of “clean” external audits for years, the federally mandated annual reviews are limited in scope and insight.
3. Because an annual audit is not forensic in nature and only examines the city’s financial framework in a given fiscal year, routine audits presented the city’s finances as stable and did not address signs of distress in recent years.
4. By federal law, cities’ comprehensive annual financial reports produced each fiscal year must be audited by an outside accounting firm for compliance with Governmental Accounting Standards Board requirements. The central aspect of the review is “material weakness,” or a given municipality’s lack of adherence to internal and GASB standards.
5. However, the national accounting standards do not consider long-term planning, strength of financial policies and controls, and other concerns raised during the city’s special management audit completed in August.
6. According to the special audit, conducted by Houston-based McConnell & Jones, the city maintained a weak financial policy framework and utilized short-term decision making in capital improvements and bond issuances. Other areas of concern included weak oversight of “city owner” development agreements, improper transfers of bond proceeds and more.

Now how do you feel we done in this audit????

Copy: 'The council’s meeting will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the council chambers at City Hall, 101 N. College St.' End of copy.

Go to this council meeting and 'demand that this be open for questions and that the salary of this city manager be opened to discussed and voted on in open city council so that the members are polled in open session and this vote be recorded so that you can see just 'who the spendthrifts are'.

It's just my opinion but with the way this city is being ran, $426 million on school bonds, $30 million in bonds for roads, $7.8 million in Hike and Bike trails with adjoining roadways and a bridge, plus a water plant that is approaching $50 million dollars to satisfy the requirements of a 3,750 new home development just outside of the city limit boundary's plus we already have approximately $350 million in bond debt already.

Question: Are we, as a city ready and willing to incur that amount of debt when we cannot even maintain our city streets adequately????

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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