By Sean Wardwell
Killeen Daily Herald
Killeen residents will get another chance to air their views about city politics Friday at the annual NAACP political forum.
Forum organizers admit that the pending recall election of five members of the Killeen City Council will make this year's forum a bit different.
"This one will be unique," said Taneika Driver, local NAACP president. Voters will decide in November whether to recall five Killeen City Council members who voted in March to buy out the contract of former City Manager Connie Green for $750,000. Two other council members left the board before they were placed on the ballot.
Driver said invitations have been extended to all of the council members under recall and she's received responses from three.
Councilmen Billy Workman, Juan Rivera and Kenny Wells could not be reached to confirm their attendance. Mayor Pro Tem Scott Cosper said he would not be able to attend due to a pre-existing commitment.
Councilman Larry Cole, however, said he was looking forward to attending.
"I'm glad they're having (the forum). It gives us an opportunity to tell our side," said Cole. "It's a chance to tell people what we thought and why we did it."
Audience members will be able to write questions for the councilmen on an index card. Those questions will be vetted by staff before being passed on to the moderator.
"We want to make sure (the questions) are decent, not attacking anyone and not vulgar or obscene," said Driver.
Jonathan Okray, organizer of the recall petition drive, said he would try to attend the forum, but did not plan on asking any questions.
"I don't know if it would be fruitful to ask any questions," he said.
In addition to the forum, Driver said the NAACP plans on continuing its voter registration efforts for the upcoming 2012 election.
"We want to make sure we're geared up for that," said Driver.
The forum will be at the Killeen Community Center, room 150, starting at 6:30 p.m. It will be moderated by Ashley Goudeau of KCEN-TV, Channel 6.
In addition to the NAACP, the forum also is sponsored by LULAC, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
Early voting begins Oct. 24 and extends through Nov. 4. Election day is Nov. 8.
"We want to ensure (the forum) is done in a professional manner, but we also want to give candidates the opportunity to say how they'll move the city forward," said Driver. "We're hoping for the best."
Contact Sean Wardwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (245) 501-7552.