Local leaders ask for more say in Fort Hood decisions in roundtable with Central Texas congressman
KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - During a roundtable Wednesday hosted by U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, various community leaders and veterans urged the congressman to keep them in the loop when it comes to decisions made at Fort Hood.
“My number one takeaway, and I made mention of that to the congressman, was that we want to be at the table because it seems that there’s a lot of discussion going on when it comes to renaming, and it doesn’t seem like we have any participants within our community,” Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra told KWTX.
“You know, I’m the mayor of the city; I don’t know what’s going on with that,” he added.
Williams said at a news conference after the closed roundtable event that a commission could rename the base within two to three years.
“We want to make sure that it’s done right, that the community has the say — not a say but the say — in the naming of it, and we want a connection to Fort Hood,” Williams said.
Segarra said that many local businesses with “Fort Hood” in their names will also likely have to make adjustments.
“We have so many names, so I think we need to be part of that process,” he said.
The community leaders also said they want more of a say when it comes to fixing Fort Hood’s culture that was found in December to be “permissive” of sexual assault and harassment.
“We have a community that is concerned and is involved in what is going on here in Fort Hood, and how it reflects on the community,” veteran Earl Williams told KWTX.
At the news conference, Williams, whose district includes a portion of the sprawling post, clarified that he does not support the so-called I am Vanessa Guillén Act working its way through Washington.
“There’s issues in there that take too much — in my mind — authority from the military component and bring the private sector in,” Williams said.
“Fort Hood is very responsible and frankly can handle its issues,” he said.
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