By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
The Nolanville City Council will discuss the appointment of the city's new mayor at a 7 p.m. meeting today.
Former Mayor James Cox Sr. resigned last week, citing health reasons and problems with the City Council as the reasons he left.
Cox said on Oct. 27 that he could not work with some council members, including Mayor Pro Tem Emma McCullough, who are trying to get city employees to file grievances against the city.
Since then, Councilman Donald "Skip" Matthews said McCullough was not responsible for employees attempting to get benefits that are the same as the police chief's through other means besides council action.
The police chief's new contract containing health care coverage, severance pay and other terms of employment was agreed upon in mid-October.
Matthews said he believes that since the chief gets benefits, all employees should get them.
"I don't think it is right," he said.
Police Chief Lester Holsey is the only employee under contract, and the chief's family is the only family to receive health insurance coverage from the city.
Matthews said he thought Cox's Oct. 27 comments were way out of line.
Other council members, such as Denise Hungerford, said she believed the mayor was justified in leaving, but she was still disappointed.
"Well, if it is due to stress, then I totally understand it," Hungerford said. "Stress kills people. It does a lot of things, and if that is what he had to do to secure his health, then that's fine. I am a little disappointed, but he did what he had to do."
Council members will appoint someone to fill the mayor's position until the city election in May.
"All I am looking for is anyone that has qualifications," Matthews said. "We don't need a newbie in there. I am hoping we could get someone in there with experience."
One of Matthews' top picks is former Mayor Carolyn Sterling, but he said he didn't know if she wanted the job.
Hungerford does not see Sterling as a good choice for the position. "I for one thought about it (appointing Sterling)," Hungerford said. "I thought about it, and I lost sleep about that. I don't agree with that because I feel that if people wanted her to be mayor, they would have elected her to be mayor."
Sterling lost the election last May to Cox.
"I don't think it is a good decision to have her in there because of that," Hungerford said. Hungerford believes the City Council will more than likely take two meetings to pick a new mayor.
Contact Mason W. Canales at email@example.com or (254) 501-7554.
If you go: Nolanville City Council, 7 p.m. today, 408 N. 10th St., Nolanville