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Commissioners go for a ‘mulligan’
The Wilson County Commissioners Court will revisit action taken during a March 5 special meeting when it meets for another special meeting March 8. This was after the Wilson County News challenged the Wilson County Clerk’s Office over the legality of the March 5 meeting.
Section 551.043 of the Texas Government Code requires public entities with Internet sites to post notices online whenever their governing bodies are scheduled to meet. This is in addition to posting notices in places, such as bulletin boards, that are regularly accessible to the public. This notice must be posted at least 72 hours before a meeting is set to begin.
Notice of the March 5 meeting was not present on visit to the county’s website, www.co.wilson.tx.us, that morning. According to a copy of the official agenda dated March 2, the commissioners met with County Attorney Russell Wilson to discuss a “request to move the election precinct lines around Kosciusko and Stockdale.”
County Clerk Eva Martinez said following the meeting that notice was properly posted to the web March 2. When the commissioners called for their March 8 special meeting, Martinez said, an employee of her office posted the new notice online but removed the old one. This occurred March 5 between 8 and 8:35 a.m., she said.
Martinez said that Wilson advised her that a court would rule in the county’s favor if the matter were litigated. However, he also suggested placing the March 5 agenda item on the March 8 agenda. A subsequent visit to the county’s website revealed the item was added at 11:05 a.m. March 5.
Under state law, actions are voidable when taken in a public meeting for which adequate notice was not given.
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