By Justin Cox

Killeen Daily Herald

Talk of term limits for committees is an old argument in Killeen.

And talk is just about all the supporters for it can expect, at least for now.

On Tuesday, rehashing the discussion over term limits served only to reinforce the lack of support for the policy by the Killeen City Council, which came to a split consensus to leave the item as is for the time being.

Councilman Ernest Wilkerson requested that the council address the issue, sparked by last week's heated debate over the land use committee's mission and future role in Killeen.

"Committees need to have term limits," Wilkerson said. "You tend to lose objectivity with the board you're serving on. I think six years is the max that a person should serve. … The commissions are where the problems are. They can shape and control the scope of the city of Killeen, and have more authority than you give them credit for."

Councilwoman JoAnn Purser said she has had numerous inquiries from some of her residents about the futility they feel in wanting to be considered for a spot on a committee.

She did say she felt the discussion was constructive, as the application and assessment process coming up in August will allow her to be part of the evaluation of current committee spots and those who wish to be considered.

"Will we have the opportunity to see these applications later this year and say okay, let's make some changes," Purser said. "We as a council can tell those constituents that you get those applications in, and they will be heard."

Councilman Larry Cole agreed with Wilkerson.

"People wait for years to get on the P&Z (Planning and Zoning commission)," Cole said. "They can't get on the committee until somebody dies. … We appoint the same people over and over. The bottom line is we don't have the backbone to tell somebody no."

Mayor Pro Tem Scott Cosper said it's the council's job to make those tough decisions.

"If we want to replace someone, we need to have the fortitude to yank that person out and replace them," Cosper said. "And we don't want someone on a committee who is simply taking direction of staff and rubber stamping what they say. If we were to banish all our committee members, it does not guarantee those certain people who have applied will automatically get on."

Councilman Juan Rivera said that term limits should not be implemented, noting that doing so would be benefitting specific interests of one or two individuals.

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