Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra said the city’s budget is in great shape in his 2020 State of the City address Thursday.
He also spoke on the upcoming election, hiring a new city manager and city revenue.
Close to a dozen people attended the event held inside the Killeen City Council Chambers while others watched a live stream on various platforms including the Herald’s Facebook page.
Earlier the same day, Segarra joined Bell County Judge David Blackburn at a luncheon hosted by the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce, where both delivered reports on their respective jurisdiction to about 90 people.
May 2 election
Last month, the council called the May 2 municipal election, in which Segarra’s post and three at-large seats will be on the ballot. Segarra is seeking reelection to a third term.
At-large seats held by Juan Rivera and Gregory Johnson are up for grabs. Neither is seeking reelection. Rivera is termed out and Johnson is challenging incumbent Daryl Peters for Bell County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4, Place 1, position in the March primary election. Peters is seeking election to the seat after being appointed last year.
Butch Menking, who is in his first term as a Killeen councilman, is also seeking reelection.
So far, 11 Killeen residents have filed to be placed on the ballot for one of the three at-large council seats. No one has filed to challenge Segarra for the mayor’s post. The last day of filing is today and applications must be received by 5 p.m. at the City Secretary’s office.
Segarra mentioned the new city manager.
“This year we’re excited to have our new city manager; he came with over 18 years of experience,” Segarra said.
The Killeen City Council voted unanimously Nov. 19 to hire James “Kent” Cagle as its new city manager.
Cagle, 58, replaced 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 chosen out of 29 candidates nationwide.
Cagle’s first official day was Dec. 1, 2019.
Since 1987, the Tulia, Texas, native has worked in local government — beginning his city management career in January 2001.
Cagle previously said his reception in Killeen has been a warm one, and he enjoyed “getting to know them (department heads).” The proud Texas Tech Red Raiders fan also said there were no surprises when he came to Killeen as he did “extensive research.”
He also added that during his time as city manager “we will deliver a balanced budget.”
When previously interviewed by the Herald, Cagle said his first goals in office were to focus on Killeen’s homelessness issues and growth impact.
At both events, Segarra touched base on the FY20 budget, which reflected an increase compared to FY19. The general fund, or operating budget, increased by $2.2 million.
Hilary Shine, the city’s communications director said the increase was due to “planned fund experditures and grant expenditures.”
The total budget expenditures for all of the funds are $209 million, an increase of $28 million compared to last year’s fiscal year budget.
The increase was due to a one-time interfund transfer to support services internal fund, street maintenance fund and $1.6 million of street maintenance fee revenue, Shine said. Other new expenditures include cost-of-living employee raises.
The city’s revenue, according to the approved budget was at $207.3 million, which includes an increase of 5% in sales tax revenue.
Killeen’s $86.6 million operating budget is balanced with no tax rate increase for property owners and no increase in utility rates.
Of the operating budget, 68% goes to salaries and 8% goes to debt.
“If you guys remember we had about an $8 million revenue shortage in our budget, (in 2016) so we had to do a lot of big cuts back then,” Segarra said. “This year, we’ve come a long way.”