Facing their largest audience since the resignation of Kevin Carruth 15 months ago, Brownwood City Council members sent dual issues of parks and the police chief to the voters.

Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to call a special election May 10. Voters will be asked to determine whether:

• The police chief should become an appointed rather than elected position after current Police Chief Virgil Cowin’s term ends in 2010.

Voters will decide whether to approve amending the city’s charter. If approved, the amendment will eliminate the elected position.

• The city should use $6 million in sales tax revenue to help pay for the first two phases of a four-phase parks improvement plan.

Under state regulations, Brownwood can use economic development sales tax revenue for specific community development projects if voters approve them.

City staff placed rows of extra chairs outside the chamber councils to help accommodate a crowd of about 75 people.

Council members held two public hearings of about an hour each on the topics.

In the first hearing, Greg Dodds, chairman of the Parks Committee, presented a proposal for the parks plan. After hearing pro-and-con comments from several citizens, council members approved a one-read ordinance that places the matter before voters.

Voters will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” to the questions:

• Authorize the use of 4A sales and use tax proceeds to construct public parks, park facilities, including an outdoor public swimming facility, playgrounds and picnic grounds, shade structures, and other open space improvements, all necessary seating, lighting, fencing, restrooms, parking facilities, concession facilities, and all related landscaping, roads, streets, water and sewer facilities, parking facilities, public drainage improvements and other related improvements that enhance any of these items.

• Authorize the use of Section 4A sales and use tax proceeds to construct baseball parks, softball parks, batting cages, all necessary seating, lighting, fencing, restrooms, shade structures, parking facilities, concession facilities, and all related landscaping, roads, streets, water and sewer facilities, parking facilities, public drainage improvements and other related improvements that enhance any of these items.

• Authorize the use of Section 4A sales and use tax proceeds to renovate the Coliseum Annex for use as entertainment, convention, and exhibition facilities, including senior citizens activities, and all related roads, streets, water and sewer facilities, parking facilities, public drainage improvements and other related improvements that enhance any of these items.

In the second hearing, Steven McCrane, representing Citizens for a Safer Brownwood, presented his group’s ideas, also drawing several speakers in response.

Council members approved a one-reading ordinance calling for that election. Voters will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” to the question:

• Shall Sections 43 and 44 of the Charter, which provide for an elected Chief of Police, as well as qualifications, term of office, duties and authority, be repealed, thereby creating an appointed Chief of Police position? Notwithstanding the foregoing, the current Chief of Police shall continue to serve in that capacity until his term that began on June 20, 2006, shall end.