Updated 04/13/2011 08:27 AM
Killeen residents call for city council removal
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The public outcry continues in Killeen two weeks after the city council approved a $750,000 buyout for then City Manager Connie Green.
While Green has since left his position, concerned citizens are now calling for the removal of the entire city council. They believe the reasons for Green's forced resignation were not clearly communicated to the public.
"It's astounding, it's unheard of, it's a travesty,” Killeen resident Edward English said. “It's mind boggling."
English and other Killeen residents came together Tuesday to sign a petition to remove the entire Killeen City Council.
It’s part of an effort led by Jonathan Okray with the Killeen Taxpayers for Responsible and Accountable Governance.
"I believe a lot of citizens are perceiving that the council stepped on their toes," Okray said. "It takes one person to take the stand, and know what's right and what's wrong. And we're on the right side of this issue."
The $750,000 buyout Green received was more than $200,00 more than what his contract stipulated.
"Maybe this could have been resolved in a more open forum that we, the taxpayers, can digest and understand," Okray said.
Looking back, it's a point Council Member Ernest Wilkerson acknowledges.
"We should have let the community know exactly what was going on at every step," he said. "We protected the city, the citizens for that which could have potentially cost them a lot more because there were violations of his contract."
Despite Wilkerson's apology, some residents still aren't buying it.
"In this economy, in this crisis that we're in today, all of our leaders are saying we need to take a sacrifice, we need to sacrifice,” English said. “But what about them?"
Okray has until May 4 to collect 1, 050 signatures for seven petitions for each council member to force a recall election.
Until then, the group plans to be out at the Killeen Community Center at 6 p.m. collecting signatures, except on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Monday, Okray said he filed an affidavit and picked up a petition to start the process of recalling Mayor Timothy Hancock as well.