Councilman Michael Boyd listens during a workshop Monday.

Councilman Michael Boyd listens during a workshop Monday.

In a reversal from an October decision to explore securing longer term lengths for Killeen City Council members, the City Council voted down the proposed change to the city charter during a Monday City Council workshop.

After hearing “red-line changes” from Deputy City Attorney Holli Clements, Councilwoman Mellisa Brown moved to not include a proposed change to the city charter that would have increased council member term length from two-year to three-year terms.

“Between the cost, the confusion, all the provisions we would have to change … I really think that, for right now, I don’t see any benefits, and I see where it will potentially cost the city money and voter apathy,” Brown said.

The primary issue for several council members was consistency and difficulty of implementation.

However, Councilman Ken Wilkerson admonished the City Council, stating that “it takes planning … it takes commitment to do what you want to do.”

“We shouldn’t not do something just because it’s hard,” he said, pointing out that, just a few weeks ago, the City Council had seen enough merit to request the change to the city charter.

“I respect anyone’s opinion to say no to this, but I don’t see any disadvantage to this at this point,” he said.

Ultimately, the vote came down to Councilman Michael Boyd, who stated he was changing his vote “in light of new information.”

“For the record I want to point out that there is an absolute benefit to having a three-year term,” he said, citing council members’ ability to begin and complete initiatives.

Similarly, Councilwoman Nina Cobb spoke in favor of the change.

“It takes time to get your initiatives, it seems like you’re always running out of time,” she said.

Brown’s motion to strip the proposed change from the May ballot passed 4-3, with council members Jessica Gonzalez, Wilkerson and Cobb voting against the motion.

COMPENSATION

On another major topic of discussion, Brown moved to shift the compensation of council members from the city charter to the city budget. If approved, the City Council would set a compensation amount in the annual budget, with any changes requiring voter approval.

However, several council members voiced major concerns with the initiative, with Wilkerson saying that the measure has the possibility of a “runaway system.”

“We shouldn’t be afraid to ask what we’re worth,” Wilkerson said.

Cobb spoke similarly.

“We said it, we said we wanted an increase in pay, we know our worth — however you want to put it, we voted on it. Let’s put it on the ballot and let’s go,” she said, adding that the City Council was “stumbling around.”

OTHER CHANGES

After a discussion regarding citizen initiatives, Boyd requested that city staff reword any mentions of “legal requirements” in the city charter to specify whether those requirements are the result of state or federal statutes

“I just want to make sure that we’re not taking anything away from the voters,” he said.

The council moved to adopt the change unanimously.

Mayor Jose Segarra reminded the City Council members as to their responsibility to educate and inform the public regarding changes to the city charter.

jdowling@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7552

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Alvin

Copy: 'Mayor Jose Segarra reminded the City Council members as to their responsibility to educate and inform the public regarding changes to the city charter.

Continuation of copy: 'However, Councilman Ken Wilkerson admonished the City Council, stating that “it takes planning … it takes commitment to do what you want to do.”

“We shouldn’t not do something just because it’s hard,” he said, pointing out that, just a few weeks ago, the Cty Council had seen enough merit to request the change to the city charter.'

Continuation of copy: “For the record I want to point out that there is an absolute benefit to having a three-year term,” he said, citing council members’ ability to begin and complete initiatives.

Similarly, Councilwoman Nina Cobb spoke in favor of the change.

“It takes time to get your initiatives, it seems like you’re always running out of time,” she said.' End of copy.

For the Mayor to say, 'their responsibility to educate and inform the public regarding changes to the city charter' is like saying 2 plus 2 =5. With council member Ken Wilkerson saying ““it takes planning … it takes commitment to do what you want to do.” What planning and commitment does it take for a city council to say, in light of the previous 'mistake' that will ultimately cost this city for the 'mistake' of something so simple as 'collecting samples and recording the results and reporting these results to their superiors who in turn should review these results and ultimately take action' in lieu of 'just passing it off resulting in a result that is below what is permissible and forcing this city to go under a biol water notice that lasted for 10 consecutive days and a higher than normal chlorine concentration for an additional 30 days which we are experiencing right now'. Is that what you mean by 'educate and inform the public' when your city council has said in essence nothing as to this occurrence? Where is the 'educate and inform the public on this occurrence as with the exception of Ms. Brown who I think missed the boat on this occasion, but that is only my personal opinion, the other council members have just sat there like bumps on a log and said nothing as to calling for an investigation as to 'who the responsibility rests with, and the city manager who has also sat mute along with the mayor. Is this the important people who is resting on their laurels instead of investigating who is responsible and placing the blame for this occurrence?

Copy: 'COMPENSATION

On another major topic of discussion, Brown moved to shift the compensation of councilmembers from the city charter to the city budget. If approved, the City Council would set a compensation amount in the annual budget, with any changes requiring voter approval.

However, several council members voiced major concerns with the initiative, with Wilkerson saying that the measure has the possibility of a “runaway system.”

“We shouldn’t be afraid to ask what we’re worth,” Wilkerson said.

Cobb spoke similarly.

“We said it, we said we wanted an increase in pay, we know our worth — however you want to put it, we voted on it. Let’s put it on the ballot and let’s go,” she said, adding that the City Council was “stumbling around.” End of copy.

In my opinion, 'You should all be fired, the lot of you. Do you think that your past performance is worthy of a raise when all you have done is 'cost this city an arm and a leg, or both legs for that matter'. You have succeeded in jumping the cost of road maintenance from $1.70/month/water meter to $10.00/month/water meter and saddled the citizen with another $24 million dollar Bond which we still do not know what is to be done with that and now the latest fiasco of a boil water notice followed by an increased level of chlorine level for an additional 30 days about which this city management has said 'Squat'. Is this the level that you Mr. Mayor are saying that the job of 'educating and informing the public'? Well if it is then, but I'm sorry but you should, in my personal opinion, 'fire the lot and start over as you don't have the cream of the crop with this lot'.

As for as councilwoman Brown's suggestion, yes I am in agreement but if this is included as a basis for setting the salary of the council and mayors salary, you can expect it to be lowered as they are not worth the $100.00/month salary they are getting now, but that is only my personal opinion.

Copy: 'OTHER CHANGES

After a discussion regarding citizen initiatives, Boyd requested that city staff reword any mentions of “legal requirements” in the city charter to specify whether those requirements are the result of state or federal statutes

“I just want to make sure that we’re not taking anything away from the voters,” he said.

The council moved to adopt the change unanimously.' End of copy.

I suggest that the wording relating to 'safe harboring of all city management' and let them be responsible for their actions. I think you would find a complete reversal from the way things are done now.

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