Connie Green

Connie Green, right, sits next to former City Councilman Scott Cosper in this file photo.

Several people who worked with former Killeen City Manager and former Killeen Finance Director Connie Green had glowing remarks for the man they say had a positive impact on them and the city.

All of them said Thursday that they were either “hurt” or “upset” about the news of his passing.

Green died Dec. 29, 2021, at his home in Killeen.

“The sad thing is that he always loved Christmas — that was the best time of the year,” said Barbara Gonzales, who was hired by and worked for Green. “And he’s passed away around this time of the year, so my condolences (are) for him and his family.”

Gonzales worked in payroll and became Green’s chief accounting officer and eventually assistant finance director. After a stint as the finance director in Copperas Cove, Gonzales returned to be the general services director and finance director for Killeen while Green was city manager.

Green served as finance director for the city from 1990 to 2005 and as city manager from 2005 to 2011.

“I have a lot of respect for him,” Gonzales said of Green, adding that he had a positive impact on the city.

From a professional standpoint, Gonzales referred to him as a mentor.

When she began working for Green, she said she had recently attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton.

“I was influenced by him to go back and get my accounting degree — I took 30 hours in one year,” Gonzales said. “A lot of that was he was my mentor.”

Gonzales also credited Green for teaching her the right way to do things.

“He was the one that taught me to do things by the book,” she said. “He used to kind of give me a hard time about not being as flexible ... and I was always a black-or-white kind of person. I didn’t bend a whole lot. I never bent the rules, because I always felt like things needed to be done the right way.

“And I feel like I learned that from him.”

Maureen Jouett, a former councilwoman and former mayor of the city, served in an elected position for the bulk of Green’s time with the city, but she said Thursday that she had known Green well before his time with the city.

Jouett said she had known Green since the 1980s, when he would do audits for the soup kitchen where she volunteered. Since his time in the city, he has also done audits for her nonprofit organization, Bring Everyone in the Zone.

“I can’t say any more than he was a good man,” Jouett said.

One personal anecdote Jouett recalled has made her laugh over the years, and it stems from the first time she met Green when he did audits for the soup kitchen.

She explained that the soup kitchen had written 78 checks and as an auditor, Green was required to charge the soup kitchen for them.

“He had a couple gold rings on his finger, and I said, ‘With all that gold, you shouldn’t even be charging us,’” Jouett said laughing. “And he laughed.”

Jouett said she had spoken to Green shortly before Christmas this year and admitted that she was worried about him.

In her professional interactions with Green, Jouett said he always had an open-door policy. From the perspective of finance director for the city, she said he was fiscally conservative and responsible.

“What he would do is he would keep up with the rates that were going on, and if we could refinance at a lower rate, he would make that recommendation to the council for some of our bonds,” Jouett said.

Bell County Judge David Blackburn said it was sad news to hear of Green’s death.

Blackburn served as city manager in Killeen during a portion of Green’s tenure as finance director. Green also succeeded Blackburn as city manager when Blackburn took over the city’s manager’s post in Temple.

“I always found him to be kind, competent and considerate on a personal level. And he will be missed,” Blackburn said of Green.

Blackburn said Green had a positive impact on the city of Killeen.

“When I first arrived in Killeen, it was just immediately following Desert Storm, and Killeen was going through some really challenging financial times at that moment in its history,” Blackburn said. “And as the finance director, Connie helped navigate through those waters.”

During his tenure as city manager, Green navigated the city through the 2008 housing crisis. As finance director, Green guided the city through the Gulf War and the post-9/11 military deployments, when the city lost sizeable portions of its population.

When he was city manager, Blackburn said Green could expeditiously produce anything he was looking for, despite Blackburn remembering Green’s desk being full of papers.

Blackburn chuckled when he said he always had to shake his head and smile when he thought of Green’s desk.

“Everybody’s got a different system in terms of how they organize their work. I never figured out what his system was, but whatever it was, it worked for him,” Blackburn said.

Though all former employees or elected officials the Herald spoke with had positive things to say, it is evident his relationship with city leaders soured later in his tenure.

The relationship between Green and the city’s elected officials began to show cracks beginning in 2009, when a routine evaluation by the council took more than 2½ hours.

Two years later, Green left in a fiery resignation in which he said his work was unappreciated.

The city council voted 4-3 to buy out Green’s contract for the sum of $750,000 on April 3, 2011 — $200,000 more than his contract stipulated.

“I was asked, ‘Do you want to remain the city manager?’” Green said in an interview with the Herald on April 28, 2011. “My response was, ‘I cannot work where I’m not wanted. I would like to know if the council would like for me to remain.’”

The aftermath of the contract buyout led to a November 2011 recall election, which saw five of the City Council’s seven members recalled in a movement spearheaded by Jonathan Okray.

The following year, Green opened his doors as a private CPA, a Killeen business he operated until his death.

Funeral services for Green are pending with Branford Dawson Funeral Home in Temple.

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(1) comment

Alvin

'This is a personal opinion because I did not have an acquaintance with this individual'.

Copy: 'Former Killeen employees and elected officials reflect on Connie Green’s impact'

Copy: 'Several people who worked with former Killeen City Manager and former Killeen Finance Director Connie Green had glowing remarks for the man they say had a positive impact on them and the city.'

Copy: 'All of them said Thursday that they were either “hurt” or “upset” about the news of his passing'

Copy: “I have a lot of respect for him,” Gonzales said of Green, adding that he had a positive impact on the city.'

Copy: “I can’t say any more than he was a good man,” Jouett said.'

Copy: 'Gonzales also credited Green for teaching her the right way to do things.' End of copy.

Copy: 'Though all former employees or elected officials the Herald spoke with had positive things to say, it is evident his relationship with city leaders soured later in his tenure.

The relationship between Green and the city’s elected officials began to show cracks beginning in 2009, when a routine evaluation by the council took more than 2½ hours.

Two years later, Green left in a fiery resignation in which he said his work was unappreciated.

The city council voted 4-3 to buy out Green’s contract for the sum of $750,000 on April 3, 2011 — $200,000 more than his contract stipulated.'

“I was asked, ‘Do you want to remain the city manager?’” Green said in an interview with the Herald on April 28, 2011. “My response was, ‘I cannot work where I’m not wanted. I would like to know if the council would like for me to remain.’” End of copy.

Now why is it that people always have such glowing remarks but they are offered 'after' the individual has passed? I wonder why, as in this case of Mr. Green, who was dismissed by the city council with a vote of 4 to 3, a simple majority, but was offered a $200,000 more than he should have been offered to 'resign and cash the check immediately before the word could come out'.

Now, I wonder, why did this city council offer him $200,000 more than was stipulated and why hasn't the reason that this city council/mayor have been so secretive in not announcing for his sudden departure. Nobody is talking about this 'secret meeting' and the reasoning behind his sudden departure and it should be noted. And this is 'why' there shouldn't be secret meetings as in this case, it was citizens money that they so frivolously spent without authorization of the citizenry. And in my opinion, 'it continues to this day'.

We the citizen have the right to know where our money is being spent and not by a gang of 7, nor a city manager, nor by a city mayor, but by the citizen and it is not working that way and I call your attention to a vote increasing the size of an elevated water storage tank, but it took 8 years to get a vote of the city council to award the sum of $22 million of not only the elevated water storage tank but an additional 4 other contracts, one of which was for a waste water project that did not have anything to do with the elevated water storage tank, but the city council voted for it anyway.

This, in my opinion is just one more reason that anything of a monetary nature over and above budgetary resolution should not be in the hands of 7 city council people, but instead should be returned to the citizens themselves.

We now have a council that seems to feel that it is OK for the citizen to be billed $0.50/month/water meter for insurance that the city has the responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep, and we now have a city council that apparently is OK for the billing of $10.00/month/water meter for street and road repair that this city has been negligent in maintaining and now has reach the untold amount of $160 million dollars and if that was not enough the city manager asked for and received an amount of, in bond money, $24 million additional and the city council approved it. That's our cty council for you. Now they have have the gall to say, 'that because they have worked so hard for us, the citizen, they deserve an increase of from $100.00/month each to $1,000.00/month each and for the mayor an increase of $250.00/month to $1,500.00/month and this city is drowning it's own debt.

Yes, I sometimes wonder how this city would do if we had kept Mr. Green in his position and fired the mayor and city council instead.

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