To the Editor:
I attended the recent KDH forum for the folks who want to be the next Killeen City Council members.
I also attended last year’s forum for mayoral and at-large council candidates.
Since that time, I’ve been a fairly regular fixture at most council meeting and workshops. It has been pretty interesting to get a closer look at how city government runs.
I’ve also gained a lot of respect for our current City Council members.
Most residents have no idea just how much time each council member spends during the course of a month attending weekly meetings — attending meetings before and after the regularly schedule meetings, attending special meetings to discuss topics not covered in the other meetings.
Then, there are the committees that all council members and the mayor are on. No, not just one or two, either.
Then, they have to return calls to their constituents.
Some council members, like Shirley Fleming, Brockley Moore and Gregory Johnson, have sponsored town hall meetings, paid with their own money, to discuss issues important to residents in their district.
There are seldom many residents in attendance at these public meetings but out of the blue, we’ve got quite a few individuals who think that they can do a better job than the incumbents.
Several candidates spoke of their experience with budgets.
Listening to them, you might get the impression that they were running for the position of the finance director and not council member.
I almost laughed when one of the candidates spoke of working with a budget in the thousands of dollars. I shared this with the city’s finance director, Jonathan Locke, and asked him what Killeen’s annual budget is. “Over $200 million!”
My question to all the new candidates is, do you have the time to do this job if you win? If not, please don’t waste your time or ours.
I asked Councilman Jim Kilpatrick about how many hours a week he spent working on council tasks. He said, “At least 20.”
It may be prestigious to be a city council member, but from what I’ve seen, it can be a very thankless job.
Everybody blames you for everything that ever went wrong, real or perceived.
It takes a very special person to fill these positions.
For now, I’ll stick with our incumbents. Thank you.