• December 19, 2014

Place auditor, city attorney under council supervision

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2013 4:30 am

To the editor:

I have read with interest the articles and editorial in your March 17, 2013, edition relating to the city’s (Killeen’s) finances and the pending lawsuit against the city.

I’m in full support of the auditor being hired and supervised by the council.

I would go so far as to recommend that the auditor could be an out-of-town entity that is so large that the loss of our business would not affect its existence. I want truth!

I would make another suggestion. I suggest that the council consider placing the city attorney under their direct supervision.

When I served on the council, we were told several times that the city attorney worked for the city staff (manager), not the council. I had the opinion on occasion that the attorney refrained from providing the council advice that went against the city manager’s desires.

A case in point would be the EMS billing controversy a few years back; check the minutes.

I have worked with the current city attorney for several years, from the time she was appointed as P&Z’s adviser to 2011. Although we have had our friendly disagreements, I have the highest regard and respect for her. I simply believe the city attorney’s loyalty should be to the council and the citizens, not the city manager.

One of the attorney’s duties (principle duty) can be to advise the city manager and staff, but the position’s loyalty is to the citizens who are represented by the council.

Larry Cole

Killeen

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

2 comments:

  • Eliza posted at 8:20 pm on Sun, Mar 24, 2013.

    Eliza Posts: 896


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Mr Cole refreshes the Killeen tax payers memory in his letter to editor, concerning city government members,City Attorney,City Manager, City Council.

    In his letter his concern is ,the City Attorney and who she should be answerable to,the City Manager or City Council.
    A recent incident makes more then Mr Cole wonder about this.

    Mr Cole states he feels (or words to that effect) the City Attorney has more of an allegiance to the city manager then to the city council. Many would be prone to believe that, due to a recent incident ,

    (see KDH article,City manager silences council on MUD issue, http://kdhnews.com/news/city-manager-silences-council-on-mud-issue/article_788f6d14-78c4-11e2-a5d3-0019bb30f31a.html
    and the advise, City Manager Morrison states he received from the City Legal Dept. concerning this subject, and then using the advise he stated he had received from that dept., he e-mailed council members to not answer any inquiries from KDH pertaining to their future visions for the city, he added that by filling out forms, they could be breaking a state law.

    This as many now know, turned out to be bad advise City Manager Morrison gave to the council of which he had stated he himself had received from Killeen's legal dept.

    The advice from the city's legal dept was proven wrong, by KDH inquiry to some of the people who had been involved in the writing of some of the law talked of and which the council had been warned of in e-mails (known as ,the Open Meetings Act.

    By rights,the tax payers should want the legal dept of who they pay their salaries (I believe there are 4-5 people in the office) to give correct answers,no matter who they are personally loyal to. And they have to wonder after the questionnaire incident,

    How many other times have the citizens not received correct information when they thought they were hearing the truth.

    A City Attorneys loyalty is suppose to be to the city government/officials and what protects either.
    The City Manager and City Council are both part of that Government.
    Even though the tax payer pays a salary for all involved,If a financial disagreement would happen between the city and a citizen,
    a City Attorney will only protect the city.

    The City Attorneys Allegiance is suppose to be, of anything pertaining to the city's interest as a whole .This in itself will protect the tax payers who are depending on Council Members to protect their interest with true and correct information and advise and then share that information with their constituents.

    The Attorney can not legally pick who they chose to be loyal to inside city government. they are to remain unbiased but, If a City Attorney does decide 'personally' to chose a favorite,that can become a problem in itself .

    I believe the most disturbing words in the , City manager silences council on MUD issue,on my part,was
    1 council member who had already filled out the questionaire form,but after receiving the Morrison e-mail, ask KDH for their answers,to not be printed thinking I guess, they could be accused of breaking a law.

    The people are to have the freedom and knowledge to know, what is going on inside their government,(Government must remember,the people pay the bills that make this government possible)They need and deserve and have the right to know what is happening and why,
    The newspaper is part of the route taken to seek that knowledge. By the council being told they could be breaking a law if they answer 5 simple questions,what is that telling the people about the Freedom of the Press, Freedom of the People to have Knowledge of their Government, or even the people being able to freely answer even the 5 simple questions mentioned above.
    This makes for a very upsetting situation.

    I agree entirely with Mr Coles thoughts on an auditor

     
  • Viktor posted at 12:07 pm on Sun, Mar 24, 2013.

    Viktor Posts: 317

    Of course the city attorney should be loyal to the council. After all they're the ones connected to folks in town that like to be at the forefront of how things flow in Killeen. Someone has to make sure that all those vested in this city are looked after when there's mega money to be made. Right allegiance, right advice & right connections seem to be the formula for some in Killeen to help rake in bucks.