Killeen City Council went into executive session at tonight’s workshop to review City Manager Ron Olson’s performance in his second year as the head of City staff and operations. Olson was appointed City Manager February 7, 2017.
“City Council rated his performance as excellent,” said Mayor Jose Segarra following the closed meeting. “Council believes that the work he has done on policies will have a positive and long-lasting effect on the City.”
The City Manager provides the following summary of his second year to the public:
My second year as City Manager has been progressive and productive. We focused largely on policy-making to establish operational standards and organizational consistency. Adopted Financial Governance Policies establish clear fiscal management standards. Governing Standards and Expectations set forth the City Council’s framework for conducting business. The Capital Improvement Policy and corresponding plan outline current and future infrastructure project needs. Finally, Council’s adoption of the Economic Development Policy enumerates expectations and priorities for growing Killeen’s tax base.
Development of a balanced Fiscal Year 2019 Budget was a major undertaking. I presented five strategic issues in the process: balanced budget, employee compensation, employee retirement, deferred building maintenance and deferred street maintenance. The budget was balanced with no increase in the tax rate and a strong ending fund balance. Initial steps were taken toward improving employee compensation by providing a cost of living adjustment for all employees and an additional adjustment to our lowest paid employees who ranked furthest from the market average. Budget constraints did not allow progress on employee retirement or building maintenance.
City Council took a major step in addressing the final strategic issue when it adopted a street maintenance fee and created a street maintenance fund. The fee, set at $1.70 per single-family equivalent, will take effect in July and be added to City utility bills. All funds received will be placed in a designated fund to be used exclusively for improving existing streets and street components. Revenue from the fee will increase the frequency of maintenance to a seven-year cycle rather than the current 15-year cycle.
Staff has produced Fiscal Year 2019 Business Plans based on annual budget allocations. The plans outline mission elements, tasks and resources by department to establish work plans and measure effectiveness. Staff has also been working on a comprehensive plan to provide longer-term goals and needs. I plan to finalize the plan and submit it to City Council for review in the next few months.
Other notable accomplishments over the past year include the complete redevelopment of the City’s primary website. The site is now completely mobile-friendly with a robust search engine and interactive capabilities. City Council Chambers was completely reconstructed with a new layout and technology. The new meeting space will provide better quality production for the Council, staff and live and remote audiences. We’ve also increased community engagement efforts. The Killeen Citizens Academy was relaunched to provide the public an inside and in-depth look at City operations. We also started About Town, a quarterly event that makes staff accessible to the public after hours in locations around the city.
I will now turn the organization’s attention to preliminary work on the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget with a focus on making additional progress on the remaining strategic issues.
My second year as Killeen City Manager has been both challenging and rewarding. City Council’s willingness to establish policy and decide difficult issues has given clarity and direction so that I can lead our staff to exceed expectations and provide an excellent level of service to our community. This dedicated and cooperative spirit will allow the City of Killeen to continue its progress toward a more stable future.