• November 29, 2014

New Killeen council members share top priorities

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Posted: Sunday, May 20, 2012 12:00 pm

By Philip Jankowski

Killeen Daily Herald

Dan Corbin, Mayor

Age: 64

Occupation: Attorney/certified public accountant

1. What is your top priority as mayor?

Priority one has been accomplished. Council deliberations in regular, special and workshop meetings will be televised on cable channel 10, streamed live over the Internet and archived for On Demand downloading by agenda item along with the Council Memorandum and related documents for each item. The next priority is to train the new council members so they can adjudicate the pending rezoning requests by May 29.

2. You have mentioned that Killeen needs to work to secure its water supply. How do you propose going about doing so?

Prior councils have secured our future supply of water from the Brazos River Authority via Water Control and Improvement District No. 1. The pressing need is for Killeen and WCID-No. 1 to increase the water treatment capacity (and) that will probably be accomplished by establishing a water treatment capability on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir and a south take point into the Killeen distribution system.

Wayne Gilmore, District 1

Age: 67

Occupation: Retired

1: What is your top priority as a council member?

Now that the council is elected I believe the number one priority is to work together as a team to bring the city business up to date and start working on the budget. The next big job will be to hire a city manager. I think together as a team this council can get good things done for our city and our citizens.

2: How do you propose to continue downtown revitalization?

I stated in the campaign that I thought downtown revitalization was important to improving quality of life in Killeen. The population of Killeen is very young, average age 27, and they look for places to go after work to meet friends and have dinner. I think if we can continue to receive grants to improve downtown Killeen that we can provide new business opportunities that will serve all of our residents. The first phase of revitalization will start as soon as the council approves the contract. We hope that we will be able to have some festivals downtown and bring visitors to our city.

Jose Segarra, District 2

Age: 47

Occupation: Owner, real estate company

1: What is your top priority as a council member?

After what the city has just been through, the first thing we need to do is earn the citizens' trust back. During the campaign, "transparency" was a word used a lot by most, so we need to make sure that we implement policies that demonstrated how the new council is willing to be more transparent in the decisions we make. We are going to be given an opportunity to demonstrate that as we catch up on all the backlog items that have been waiting for some action to be taken.

2: You have mentioned that Killeen has an image problem that needs to be improved. How?

I'll be meeting with the different department heads, such as public safety, planning and development, parks and recreations and also with local groups and organizations that I think have an impact on our city's image. I want to work with the council, city staff and our volunteer citizens to put a plan in place that promotes all the positive things that we as a city have to offer and/or are currently working on to promote our image. There are a lot of great things about the city and many more that are coming. We just need to not let the few negatives overshadow the many great things that our city currently has to offer.

Elizabeth Blackstone, At-Large

Age: 63

Occupation: Retired school counselor

1: What is your top priority as a council member?

Now that I have been elected, my number one priority as a council member is to learn everything I can about the job and about the city's business. I am studying hard so that I can make more informed decisions, and the council has decided to increase the number of workshops and briefings. I want to help move things forward that have had to wait until now for a council to be assembled, and I want to do so with the best interests of the people of Killeen.

2: You have mentioned that rapid growth in the city has adversely affected quality of life. How would you reverse that?

Because our city has experienced such rapid growth over the last years, many things have struggled to keep pace. An example of this is the traffic situation. We are building new roads and redoing older ones to make the city traffic flow in a more desirable fashion. We were all given a wake up call about water issues last summer and ensuring a plentiful, safe supply is a top priority of mine. We must continue to provide parks and green spaces for everyone to enjoy, and we must work to make our city safer by supporting our police and fire departments.

Jared Foster, At-Large

Age: 30

Occupation: Operations manager, motorcycle dealership

1: What is your top priority as a council member?

Setting a positive example comes first, in thought and in conduct. We have a duty to look for consensus where possible, and disagree respectfully. I said during my campaign that Killeen is a story in the telling, and we occasionally lose control of the narrative. This council has an opportunity to remind us that life in Killeen is a blessing and that there is value here. We can start by changing the stories in our heads about each other and what we can accomplish when we work together.

2: You have mentioned you want to make Killeen a better place to live and work. How do you propose we go about addressing that?

I would like to start by encouraging Killeen to establish for itself a sense of "place"; we are more than "just a military town" and more than the sum of our collective parts. Diversity, experience and opportunity thrive here, but they can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of both people and of dialogue. We need to consider the growth of our region and ask ourselves about the kind of place future residents will want to call home. Many of them will be military, and many of them will also be retirees and members of our burgeoning health care and education markets. If we can embrace the things that set us apart from other communities and remember to capitalize on the economic advantages we already have, we will succeed in making life better for those to come and for those already here.

Jonathan Okray, At-Large

Age: 45

Occupation: Warehouseman

What is your top priority as a council member?

My top priority will be driven by the input I receive from all citizens. I assume our city staff prioritizes from among a pool of issues, best interests of our city and ability to lawfully execute them. So it's important for council members to receive your input: Citizen input will drive my top priority. It is my responsibility to be in sync with priorities that reasonably and adequately address citizen issues and priorities and that move our city forward. I do not determine the top priority alone.

Contact with me or any council member is an imperative to responsiveness. We can forward issues directly to the city manager who knows the appropriate city staff office to route issues that need addressing; they also establish a record of action to assist and to track disposition.

2. During your campaign, you mentioned multiple times a desire to decrease the size of and limit Killeen's government. How do you propose doing so?

I spoke nonspecific, however, our municipality is a form of government. My statements about the size of government are from the point of view of someone responsible for operating a household, not necessarily a home. I consider my household a business. The success of my business depends on my ability to manage and transact income and outgo within budget.

Our responsibility for governmental function is inescapable, but we all have responsibility in managing our governments' effect on our household. Households and governments are important but of these two, which is first in priority? Whichever is first in priority invariably affects the function of the second in priority. My household is first in priority. In context to government, it's important that we determine together what our financial responsibility is. It's important that we inform our governmental bodies of our willingness and moral obligation to finance its existence in exchange for what we determine it provides and its means to provide.

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