By Holly Wise
Killeen Daily Herald
The wait is over.
All seven Killeen City Council members - Scott Cosper, Larry Cole, Billy Workman, Kenny Wells, Juan Rivera, JoAnn Purser and Ernest Wilkerson - have been recalled from their positions after enough signatures were collected and verified, Killeen spokeswoman Hilary Shine confirmed late Thursday evening.
The petition to recall Mayor Timothy Hancock fell short.
A memorandum distributed to the Killeen City Council was leaked late Thursday, and its contents began circulating.
However, news hadn't reached Jonathan Okray, the man behind the historic petition drive, until he was reached by phone Thursday by the Killeen Daily Herald.
"I'm glad the residents of Killeen supported the petition effort and our council is recalled," he said. "It brings back some level of accountability and responsibility in the local government on the local level."
The council members were given a memorandum in their council packets stating that enough signatures had been validated to recall each member, Shine said.
"We wanted the council to see it first," she said.
Shine did not say how many signatures were verified for each council member or the mayor, but said the details will come out in Tuesday's council meeting.
After Tuesday's meeting, the clock starts ticking and the recalled council members have five days starting Wednesday to either resign from their positions or call for a recall election, Shine said.
"If by Monday they haven't, they'll have to put it on the agenda for a council meeting later on," she said.
Okray started his petition drive April 6 after the council voted 4-3 on March 29 to buy out former City Manager Connie Green for $750,000 - $200,000 more than his contract stipulated.
"It's not a one-way ticket," Okray said. "They're there to serve us and in the capacity of serving us, we need to be informed on what they're doing with our tax dollars."
Okray spent four nights a week and every Saturday until the first week of May in the Killeen Community Center parking lot collecting signatures. He turned in the notarized petitions May 3 and has been waiting to hear from the city.
"I've been wondering when we were going to hear anything," was the first thing he said when he heard the news Thursday that his petitions worked. "I understand the (signature) examination procedure, but it wasn't responsive enough for me."
Regardless of timing, Okray's petitions and subsequent recalls marks a first in Killeen's 129-year history.
Contact Holly Wise at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7555.