Senior town hall

Councilwomen Melissa Brown and Jessica Gonzalez speak with Killeen resident Batse Latorre at the Senior Town Hall and Potluck Saturday.

Killeen resident Batse Latorre got a front row seat to the Senior Citizens Town Hall Potluck and Meeting on Saturday.

The town hall, which began at 8:30 a.m., was hosted by Councilwoman Mellisa Brown while Councilwoman Jessica Gonzalez also attended. The town hall had advertised speakers from the Killeen Police Department, state representative Brad Buckley and Hill Country Transit District, but none of them had arrived as of 9:40 a.m.

During the town hall, Brown and Gonzalez spoke at length with Latorre regarding development plans for the Rose Hereford Community Center, as well as past and potential outreach programs.

“What we’d like to know is what sort of events you’ve been to and what you’d like to see,” Brown said.

Latorre said that she hadn’t attended too many events hosted by the city, but mentioned AdventHealth’s Doc Walk.

“It was very informative, and then we got to walked around a bit. We learned all about kidney stones,” Latorre said.

Brown mentioned that the senior center had held outdoor line dancing last year, the mention of which gave Latorre a spark of excitement.

“Me and my mother love to dance,” she said. “It’s hard to get her to activities but I think she would come out to that.”

Even more exciting Latorre was the prospect of a “senior prom,” which the council members explained it as a dance where senior citizens could dress up and come together again after COVID-19.

Brown and Gonzalez also discussed communication, and asked for ways to keep the community informed.

“I’m pretty good with the Google and internet, but my mother, she doesn’t use it,” Latorre said. “So an email is fine for me, but some sort of notice or letter would work.”

Brown mentioned that the senior center issues a publication, and was concerned that Latorre didn’t know about it. However, Latorre offered suggestions for additional places to publish the newsletter.

“Perhaps they could put the newsletter out in different places like H-E-B or the free clinic,” Latorre said.

Latorre was only senior to attend the meet-and-greet event while the Herald was there from 9:20 to 9:40 a.m. Saturday, however, 12 people  attended the event in total. It was slated to last until 1 p.m.

Earlier this week, Patsy Bracey, Killeen Senior Citizens Committee chairwoman, told the Herald the event had been canceled, but Brown said the event was never canceled.

Brown also said Bracey was in the parking lot before the event turning people away Saturday morning, however, Bracey claims that she was only in the parking lot to meet someone.

Bracey said the only person she told in the parking lot that the town hall was canceled was Gonzalez, who still went inside.

Bracey said Saturday she organized the meeting, and it was hers to cancel.

"I had canceled my meeting — that was my meeting," Bracey said Saturday afternoon. "The people that were invited were my guests."

jdowling@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7552

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