By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
A group of 15 residents has stepped forward to draft changes to the city charter that could lead to a new form of government and affect the future of Nolanville.
The City Charter Commission met for the first time July 20 to write a first draft of a document that would change the city's government from a general-law city to home-rule city if the charter is approved by residents.
A general-law city is restricted to performing the services and exercising the regulatory powers designated by state statutes, while a home-rule city looks to the Texas Constitution and statutes for what is forbidden then makes its own laws, according to the Texas Municipal League.
A charter does this by declaring the authority of the City Council and other city officials.
The commission will work hard to construct the by-laws for which the city government will be run, said commission member Heike Merrill.
"I will do whatever it takes, and do whatever I need to do," Merrill said. "I am in it until it is done."
The biggest problems the commission faces in coming up with a charter is time and scheduling, said Lester Holsey Jr., Nolanville police chief and commission chair.
As the City Council pointed out in a meeting Thursday, there was a little confusion on when the city has to file a final version of the charter for it to be voted on in November.
The commission originally thought it had to be finished July 1, said Ken Miller, city councilman and commission member.
The city attorney, Alan Bojorquez, corrected the error by saying the commission has to until Aug. 31 to submit the document to Washington, D.C.
Holsey and Miller both said the commission will continue to review the charter and make improvements until the commission feels it is ready.
While the draft resulting from meeting on June 20 was technically ready to go, it needs work, Miller stated.
It was a pretty basic city charter with nothing difficult or interesting about it, Merrill said.
Like most of the other commission members, Merrill wants to see the city grow, she said.
"I am business owner in this town, and I am concerned about the well being of the town," said Rod Nash, co-owner of Kaye Motorcycle's Mania and committee member. "I think everyone on the charter commission was pretty much on the same sheet of music and wants what is best for the city."
Holsey was uncertain when the next commission meeting would take place, but he did say it will probably meet several times before the end of August.
"I am glad to see the city is making this progressive step," Holsey said.
Contact Mason W. Canales at email@example.com or (254) 501-7554.
Nolanville Charter Commission members
Lester Holsey Jr., chairman