Council gives directions on seeking associate judge



At Tuesday’s night’s city council meeting, the council members gave city staff directions to prepare a request for qualifications, or RFQ, to begin the process of seeking a new associate judge for the Copperas Cove municipal court. At the city council meeting on Feb. 17, the council decided not to reappoint B.C. Jones to the position, and his current contract expires on Dec. 2, 2015. “What different law firms do is send a packet of information that include the resumés of all the individuals who work in the firm, or if it’s an individual, they will just send in their resumé,” said City Manager Andrea Gardner. “Then we review those and based on the qualifications they submit, we would invite one to three in for an interview, where you could have a back-and-forth discussion with that individual.” Gardner recommended, as this position is one appointed by the council, that the council have a minimum of one, but not a quorum, of members serve on the committee. Council members Gary Kent, George Duncan and Mark Peterson all volunteered to be on the RFQ selection committee. The council also unanimously approved the naming of two new roads, Matthew Spicer Road and Weeping Willow Lane. The two roadways were created with the construction of the southeast bypass and are required to have names by the Central Texas Council of Governments, which oversees the coordination of 9-1-1 for Coryell County. Council also approved the submission of an application by the fire department for a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant through the United States Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency. If the city is approved for the grant, funding would allow the fire department to hire six more fire personnel. The grant would fund 100 percent of their salary for 24 months, after which the city would have to pick up the funding. The total federal share for the 24-month period would total $713,976, according to the department’s application. The final action item on the agenda included discussion regarding the nomination of representatives from the city to the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance (HOTDA) board. Currently the city is represented by Bradi Diaz and Dennis Webster. Diaz’s term expires in 2016 and Webster’s term expires in 2017. This action item was proposed by council member Mark Peterson at the Feb. 17 meeting. At Tuesday night’s meeting, Peterson told the council of continuing to have city representation on the board, “It is such a critical time right now,” referring to the current federal budget discussions and possible future base reduction and closure that the military faces, and how that could impact the community.

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