Mellisa Brown

Killeen City Councilmember Mellisa Brown is the only member who voted against a newly approved comprehensive plan for the city.

“The city has a lot of immediate financial needs,” Brown said by email on Thursday. “A contract with a consultant for almost $400,000 is a lot of money that could go toward those needs.

“Killeen has a history of paying for plans and then not adhering to them because of the way prior councils have voted. I don’t feel like this is the best use of our funds at this time.”

The project in question will be completed by Dallas-based Verdunity, Inc, at a cost of $349,140. A similar comprehensive plan was approved by the city in 2010 at a cost of $262,816, and was expected to last for 20 years, but so far as shown few tangible results.

Brown said she thinks a comprehensive plan is important, but takes issue with the method used with respect for the most recent one.

“It gives the city a map to follow for future growth and development plus how to use our budget most effectively,” she said. “We have a comprehensive plan and our internal departments have been working on plans that would ultimately be part of this process, and my understanding is that they are working based off the current plan. I believe a comprehensive plan is needed, but not at the expense to a consultant. We have very competent staff and city leadership who I fully believe could develop one internally with input from the community.”

When asked, Brown noted that as far as oversight of such a plan, there are no definite controls other than the votes of council members, and the council isn’t required to vote according to any plans.

Despite voting against it, Brown expressed optimism about the plan after its approval.

“I respect my peers on the city council, and the majority of the body feels like it is in the best interest of the city at this time,” she said. “What I will do now is make my best effort possible to make sure citizens have a say in the plan and that it is followed.

“Once it’s completed, I expect that it will include much-needed services and improvements to infrastructure and essential needs. My sincere hope is that it will include a grocery store for North Killeen.”

(3) comments

dailymajor

Spending this money on a "plan", especially right now, is just plain dumb....especially now, with the pandemic and our economy as it is and will be. ..Actually, I think these "plans" have been a waste of time in the past, and I feel pretty certain this plan is going to be a huge, huge waste. ....We need our streets repaired, we need more police to make Killeen much safer than it is now, and we do need to do something about our homeless problems. ... Our crime rate is sad and should be embarrassing to the leaders of this city. What happened to the big plan the police chief had commissioned to make Killeen safer?

This new plan is going to be just another example of politicians trying to make something look great, when it is not. Just look at our last "plan". ...This is just another huge waste of money.

overseer

@cz124

I agree with your frustrations regarding the “previous council” but, disagree with your frustrations with the entire “previous council”. I do believe that us citizens have been fortunate in having some of them go against the flow of the majority. You must remember that things are not always passed by the “entire” council but, a majority of them. With the raising of taxes and fees, you have had some members of the “previous council” vote against those also. My sincere suggestion to you is this - before looking to condemn a decision by the “majority” of the council, in regards to this particular issue, go to the city website and watch the portion of recording of the meeting that pertains to this. It will give you insight and rationale as to why, even the remaining veteran members of the council(who were some of the most divided(2-2) members on the “previous council”)) voted together this time. Listen to each one individually and decide for yourself, which were, doing it in a true belief that it was a good idea or, just out of true self interest.

cz144

WELL GET RID OF THE ENTIRE CITY COUNCIL AND HIRE THIS COMPANY TO RUN THE CITY. EVERY TIME THE PREVIOUS COUNCIL AND NOW THIS ONE WANT TO PAY THIS COMPANY 400 THOUSAND OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS TO TELL THEM WHAT TO DO. THAN THEY COME BACK AND WANT TO RAISE YOUR TAXES TO GIVE THE POLICE A NEEDED PAY RAISE,ROADS TO BE FIXED

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