City plan input welcome at kickoff meeting

Kevin Shepherd of Verundity, Inc., speaks to the Killeen City Council on in November about his company’s role in producing a proposed Comprehensive Plan for the city, which the council approved in a 6-1 vote at a cost of $349,140.

Could a salary raise be on its way for the members of the Killeen City Council and the mayor? Discussion at council meeting earlier this week would suggest maybe.

According to the city’s attorney, the current charter for the city of Killeen says that the salary for members of the city council is not to exceed $100 a month, and the salary for the mayor is not to exceed $200 a month.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the council voted 6-1 in approval of a motion of direction for a council-led charter review to be completed prior to the first municipal election after the upcoming May 1 election. The next municipal election is slated for May 2022.

The charter review would allow the council to make any suggested amendments or changes to the charter and place them on the ballot for the public to vote on them, one of which could include a pay raise for the council.

The item was initially put on the agenda for discussion by Shirley Fleming and there was some disagreement amongst the council.

Councilwoman Debbie Nash-King expressed her thoughts saying the council doesn’t need compensation.

“I really have a problem with this. I respect everybody’s opinion, I love you and all those great things, but we talked about salary tonight. We talked about ... really focusing on the streets, the roadway and not really wasting money. We are servants … I’m 100% against this, I don’t think we deserve a pay because we’re servants,” said Nash-King, who voted agains the motion.

On the other side of the discussion, Fleming explained why she thought it was worth discussion.

“I would like some discussion from the council because it does concern them. And the people that will be voting on this are the people that elected them, so it’s no more fair than to put it on the ballot,” Fleming said.

Other than Fleming and Nash-King, the rest of the council was not adamant one way or the other about a salary increase, but they were all in favor of a full charter review that would allow the council to pose any possible changes to the charter to the voters.

The charter can only be amended once every two years, according to Briggs, and the most recent amendment was done in 2018.

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