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.