Youngs submits resignation from city council
By LYNETTE SOWELL
At the top of the action items on Tuesday night’s meeting agenda for the Copperas Cove city council is consideration and action on accepting the resignation of Place 7 Councilman Charlie Youngs.
Youngs found himself in the hot seat after the city’s video feed of the Aug. 13 special council meeting captured Youngs seated on the dais and “flipping off” someone. At the time Youngs made the gesture, Place 5 councilman Kirby Lack was addressing the council and the audience, and it appears that the gesture was made toward him.
But, according to Youngs, he was making the gesture to a member of the audience whom he alleged had made threats to him, that this individual would come to his house and “kick his butt.” He also stated that individual is currently running for Copperas Cove city council.
In a phone interview and via comments on social media, Youngs admitted that the gesture was crude and unprofessional.
Included with Tuesday’s agenda item is Youngs’ resignation email to City Manager Ryan Haverlah. Dated Sunday, August 25, Youngs states that, “I will take the pressure off the council. I will step down from the council effective 6:08 PM on 24 August 2019.”
Among comments by Youngs on social media prior to that email, included a comment on Saturday that if "U want me to resign, let me know."
Due to its proximity to the Nov. 5 general election, the City of Copperas Cove can hold a special election for Place 7 on Nov. 5, and calling a special election is next on Tuesday’s agenda if the council votes to accept Youngs’ resignation. An executive session concerning Youngs is included on the agenda.
Also on Tuesday evening, the council will be voting on the city’s fiscal year 2019-2020 budget, as well as the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation’s budget for 2019-2020, and a new property tax rate.
There have been two public hearings for the proposed property tax rate of $0.7865 per $100 valuation, down from the $0.797908 that the rate has been for several years.
The council is also being presented with an ordinance that adopts the city’s fee schedule effective Sept. 3, 2019. This includes increasing the water and sewer base rates from $12 to $14, respectively. The volumetric sewer rate will decrease to $5.75 per 1,000 gallons, down from $6 per 1,000 gallons. The solid waste residential rate will increase to $19 per month, from $18 per month.
An agreement between the city of Copperas Cove and the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce for hosting and participating in the chamber’s military affairs events is also being presented to the council. The agreement involves the chamber using the Civic Center for its Military Affairs banquets at no charge, in exchange for the City of Copperas Cove having a table at the banquets at no cost to the city.
The council will also be filling vacancies on the Planning & Zoning Commission, and the Board of Adjustments. There is one vacancy on Planning & Zoning, with two applicants, Sarah Kindler and Jerry Cantrell. There are two vacancies on the Board of Adjustments, also with two applicants, Jerry Cantrell and Charlotte Brown.
On Tuesday, city council committee reports will be made by council members who serve on various boards such as the Central Texas Council of Governments Executive Committee, Hill Country Transit District Board of Directors, Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Board, Adopt-A-Fort Hood-Unit, Quality of Life Board, Subdivision Technical Advisory Committee, Transportation Work Group Committee, and more.
City Manager Ryan Haverlah will also be giving the City Manager’s Report to the council, which will include topics such as Utility Billing Services, a Recycling Intergovernmental Service Agreement, city community events update, Heartwood Park Phase IV Development, and Texas Department of Transportation road projects on F.M. 1113 and F.M. 116.
During the 5:30 p.m. workshop prior to the 6 p.m. meeting, employee service awards for the month of September will be awarded to Jeff Davis, Human Resources Director, with five years of service; Carol Ballesteros, Firefighter II/Paramedic, 15 years of service; and Gary Young, Deputy Fire Chief, 30 years of service.
Daniel Hawbecker, Water Superintendent, will be recognized for his retirement after 40 years of service with Copperas Cove.
Mayor Bradi Diaz will also issue a proclamation for DECA’s Start with Hello Week.
The workshop and meeting will take place at the city’s Technology Center, located at 508 S. 2nd St., with a time of Citizens Forum at the beginning of the 6 p.m. meeting.