Kent Cagle

Killeen City Manager Kent Cagle answered questions from the audience on Monday evening during Councilwoman Debbie Nash-King monthly forum.

On Monday, Killeen City Manager Kent Cagle spoke to the public directly for the first time since his hire two months ago.

Monday’s forum was hosted by Councilwoman Debbie Nash-King, who holds these meetings monthly.

Speaking to a crowd of about 30, which included past and current elected officials and city staff, Cagle touched on his ideas for addressing the city’s financial issues and paying for infrastructure.

“We have two parts: a part of town that is aging and we’ve got a part of town that is growing. Both things bring their own set of issues,” Cagle said.

Cagle spoke briefly about his stance on homelessness in the city. He previously told the Herald the way to solve the issue “must be community based.”

“I don’t think the city can write a check and solve that problem. That’s not what I am saying,” Cagle said Monday. “I am saying we have a downtown that is causing people to leave. Downtown ought to be the significant revenue generator for the property sales tax that we already have.”

When asked about his ideas for downtown redevelopment, Cagle brought up an idea he shared just weeks before he was hired during a public interview. It’s similar to the Incremental Development Alliance, a national nonprofit providing training and coaching to implement neighborhood-scale real estate development. It partners small real estate developers with entrepreneurs.

“It teaches you how to buy a building and create windspace for residential or for other businesses,” Cagle said.

It’s been just over one month since James “Kent” Cagle took the helm as Killeen’s new city manager. His first day in the post was Dec. 3.

Cagle, 58, succeeded former City Manager Ron Olson, who retired Oct. 1, 2019, after more than 40 years of city management in various cities, including Killeen.

Cagle was selected in November out of a total 29 nationwide candidates. Since 1987, the Tulia native has worked in local government — beginning his city management career in January 2001.

Cagle said his reception in Killeen has been a warm one, and he has enjoyed his first month in Killeen.

He also added that during his time as city manager “we will deliver a balanced budget.”

Nash-King closed out the meeting calling Cagle “a breath of fresh air” and saying she looks forward to working with him.

Monique Brand - Killeen Daily Herald

mbrand@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

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City Hall Reporter

Monique 'Mo' Brand joined the Herald in May 2019. Before that, she covered border coverage and county government in Arizona. She also worked as a reporter in Kerrville, Los Angeles, and Norfolk Virginia. The U.S. Navy veteran grew up in Killeen.

(1) comment

Alvin

Well from reading what was printed in this newspaper, I did not see what he was proposing as a solution for 'a re-development plan for our city of Killeen, Texas'. He spoke of the plan, “must be community based”, and “It teaches you how to buy a building and create windspace for residential or for other businesses”, but nothing specific. And he spoke of, 'Cagle spoke briefly about his stance on homelessness in the city'. He previously told the Herald the way to solve the issue, “must be community based.” Well I disagree with him on this premise of 'the socialism of community effort that resembles 'the few having to take on the responsibility of supporting the many'. This I am against as this city should 'take on the responsibility of handling it's total population and shuffle it off on to the citizens. This city should, if it wants to be the care takers of the homeless who by the way do not give to the city in any form, but just are takers from the city coffers. In that respect I would suggest some sort of pay as you go by working for the upkeep and maintenance of the individuals involved, a sort of 'pay as you go' for the homeless. It is my belief that the homeless should shoulder some of the responsibility for their individual upkeep. If they do not want to associate themselves with the responsibility for their own maintenance and upkeep, then the police should take them to the city limits where they can find another town.

Copy from KDH: 'He also added that during his time as city manager “we will deliver a balanced budget.” End of copy.

Well we've talked about this 'balanced budget' before and it seems to me that what he would call a balanced budget and what I deem a balanced budget to be is quite different. In my book, a balanced budget would be a forecast of what is in the city coffers including all of the funds that are available and what the budget is forecast to be, including all budget items remaining, and they should be 'in balance'. This annual budget should not include any 'hold back money', such as the General fund and the imbalance of say the water and sewer fund that has millions of slush money to be used as the city council, the mayor, and the city manager sees fit. With this in mind, It is my opinion that, 'this would not be a balanced budget' as it is to the detriment of the citizens at large.

With this in mind, I will have in mind if 'this is a breath of fresh air or not' depending on what this new city manager will do for the city of Killeen, Texas.

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