Killeen resident James Ralston plans on asking the hard questions Monday at Mayor Dan Corbin’s first State of the City Address and Town Hall Meeting at City Hall.
A Fort Hood teacher with an ear on local government, Ralston said he attends as many public meetings as he can.
“It is important to keep your finger on the pulse of government,” Ralston said. “Voting is not enough.”
Corbin, who was elected in May, is expected to update residents on the work of the City Council over the last eight months and explain where he thinks the city is going in 2013.
“I hope the meeting will be informative and inspirational both,” Corbin said.
Topics he is expected to discuss are the upcoming charter election, water issues related to the city’s rapid population growth, ratcheting up code enforcement on major thoroughfares and caring for the city’s homeless.
The speech will be followed by a town hall-format question and answer session with residents.
Members of the public unable to attend the meeting may participate by emailing questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. Monday.
“We wanted to give a mechanism for those who can’t attend the meeting to have a say in the process,” Corbin said.
Ralston said he wants to know whether the extension of the city limits into previously unincorporated areas of the county will mean a decrease in the quality of services for residents like himself.
“The city is expanding left, right and down the middle but they’ve forgotten to take care of the little people,” Ralston said. “They’ve got to take care of the people that are here as well as the people that want to be here.”
Ralston said water is a big concern for a city expected to grow by 20,000 people in the next 10 years.
“They say they want to address the water issues, but as we keep expanding that’s only going to get worse,” Ralston said. “If we don’t control how we expand, we are going to lose control of it.”
The city will broadcast the event live on the government channel, Time Warner Cable Channel 10-10. It also will be streamed live on the city’s website, www.killeentexas.gov.