By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
NOLANVILLE — City Council blew off steam concerning the mayor at a special meeting Monday.
Council members called the meeting after three of the five signed a letter of reprimand Thursday citing the mayor’s behavior on Aug. 5.
The mayor, James Cox, and the council are having problems right now, said Albert Simmons, the first city councilman to speak at the meeting.
The letter of reprimand stated Cox had a violent outburst prior to a special meeting Aug. 5, in which he insulted Mayor Pro-Tem Emma McCullough in front of other council members, city employees and residents.
“Your demeaning conduct directed at ... McCullough, where you publicly insulted her in front of her peers ... were totally uncalled for and constitutes a violation of her civil rights,” stated the letter of reprimand.
McCullough, Simmons and Donald “Skip” Matthews all signed the letter that stated further outbursts would not be tolerated.
During the Monday’s meeting, complaints about Cox came mostly from McCullough.
McCullough said that the Cox was working “backwards” on city issues by investigating details about who owns an old school building, annexation and issues concerning Babes, a local club for adults.
“There are too many projects that we need to do, like a sidewalk on 10th Street,” McCullough said.
Cox has spent time researching grants to help provide money for funding a sidewalk that will run from Avenue H to Farm-to-Market 439 on 10th Street, he said in response to McCullough.
Members of the city staff supported Cox, but said the working environment became tense about two weeks ago.
When Cox came into the office of mayor, the atmosphere in city hall changed to a more positive one and all the departments started to work together, but because of tension in the council, the environment has become horrible, said Felecia Duson, city secretary at the meeting.
Some city council members like Denise Hungerford and Matthews, discussed that the council and mayor should be a partnership.
“We should all be here working together to do what we can to help the city,” Matthews said.
The council should do more than say to fix the problem; they should actually fix, Duson said.
“We need to start doing the job we were elected for,” said Emma McCullough, mayor pro-tem. “And we need to know what is going on at city hall. ... Our communication with city hall has stopped.”
“You should be involved in principle above personality,” said John Roark city judge, who offered his speciality as mediator to discuss the personal issues members of the Nolanville City Council are having.
The council will meet at 7 p.m. today at the community center to discuss the operations and the structure of the Planning and Zoning Committee.
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7554.