By Hailey Persinger
Killeen Daily Herald
In hopes of avoiding a walking quorum, Killeen's legal department has dubbed Mayor Tim Hancock's fundraiser tonight a special council workshop.
Though city staff's attendance is not mandatory, as it is during most workshops and regular meetings, Hancock said he invited every council member to a fundraiser for his campaign. A quorum is declared when at least four council members gather - a situation that could arise during today's event.
Since Hancock plans to discuss his vision for the city, the speech was determined to qualify as city business and a walking quorum during which city business is discussed is illegal under Texas law. Punishment for such behavior includes hefty fines and potential jail time.
"I do talk and tell them what I plan to do or what my goals are and this year for the first time it was said that when you have these fundraisers - if there were going to be a possibility of council members being there - it would need to be posted," Hancock said.
Though he said he didn't understand why the gathering was designated a workshop, he would rather be safe about abiding by Texas' open meetings laws.
This is the first campaign season in which the rule has been enforced in Killeen. City Attorney Kathy Davis said enforcement would continue in every instance possible.
"If it's likely that a quorum of council will show up, … if we're aware of it in advance, we'll post it," she said.
Hancock's event coincides with the first day of early voting, which will last through May 4. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in City Hall at 101 N. College St.
Early voting hours will change April 28 and 29, allowing voters to cast their ballots from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Those registered can also vote early at the Killeen Community Center at 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd. and at the Killeen Independent School District Administration Building at 200 N. W.S. Young Drive.
The election is May 8.
Contact Hailey Persinger at email@example.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow her on Twitter at KDHcity.
Early voting locations
Killeen City Hall, 101 N. College, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday from April 26 through May 4. Early voting hours will be extended to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 28 and April 29.
Killeen Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday today through May 4.
Killeen ISD Administration Building, 200 N. W. S. Young Drive, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday today through May 4.
Spanish-speaking poll workers will be available at each polling location.
Administration Office, City Hall, 305 Miller's Crossing, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Wednesday and Friday and May 3 and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and May 4.
Nolanville City Hall, 100 N. Main St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through May 4.
Copperas Cove City Hall, 507 S. Main St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, May 3 and May 4. Early voting hours will be extended to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Wednesday.
County Elections Administrator's Office, 412 S. Live Oak, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through May 4.