KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) The 2019 Martin Luther King, Jr., march in Killeen took place under a cloud of controversy at a new location, but city leaders are making changes to clear the air.
For the past twenty years, Killeen’s annual MLK march has started on the steps of city hall and streamed through downtown.
But because of an oversight, this year's event was pushed to Lions Club Park where some say it was almost out of the public eye.
A new city policy required a payment of $1,200 for traffic control in order for the march to take place downtown.
However, the Killeen NAACP president says she was not notified until 36 days after putting in the required petition.
She says the event was moved because the location mattered less than setting an example for the children.
Despite the change, hundreds came out to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday.
“We need to make sure that the torch remains lit of Dr. King's life and legacy, that they remain free, that they continue to live in this nation where they're not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” TaNeika Driver-Moultrie said.
“So even though we may be caught up in our feelings as adults, we have to just sit back and look at the big picture and realize it's about our youth.”
She believes all organizations that hold public events should have been notified when the rules were changed.
She spoke at Tuesday night's workshop where council members voted unanimously to make sure the march is listed as a city-sponsored event, thereby making it exempt from the traffic control fee.
Driver-Moultrie says she is pleased with the outcome, but this ordeal served as a lesson on keeping up with what's going on with the city.
“Always keep your eyes and your ears open,” she says.