By Lisa Soule

Killeen Daily Herald

A group of Killeen residents appointed by the City Council began a charter review process Thursday.

City Attorney Kathy Davis told the group the charter was the peoples mandate for the city. Davis said any recommended revisions to the charter would need to go to the council in February in order to follow a timeline for a May 7 election.

Seven of eight appointees attended the first meeting and elected Debbie McKinney as chair and Jules Petit as vice-chair. McKinney, Petit and committee member Charles Ashley have all previously run unsuccessfully for the council.

Other members of the committee are Walter Autry, Richard Banta, Oscar Jackson, Patricia Thomas, former Mayor and Councilman Allen Cloud and former Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Gilmore, who did not attend Thursdays meeting.

Some possible charter topics suggested by residents and council members include ward boundaries, personal interests of council members, allowing the mayor to vote and lengthening council terms.

Davis said there was no requirement to revise the particular areas.

One topic that has been reviewed before and will likely to be reviewed again is single-member districting.

Petit said many residents are confused by the current city system, which elects one council member from each ward but allows residents to vote for all ward representatives.

There is a residency requirement, but not a voting requirement, Petit said.

With the recent growth of the city, adding an additional ward also may come up for review.

After a brief overview of the topics by the city attorney, Petit suggested committee members take time to review the charter and the suggested topics brought before the group.

The next committee meeting is set for 2 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

Contact Lisa Soule at lsoule@kdhnews.com

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