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Section A: General News


Letter: ‘Clarifying’ an agenda item doesn’t cut it




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December 12, 2012 | 1,684 views | 20 comments

Editor:

Re: “New council axes Holiday Extravaganza” Dec. 5

According to the writer, “Canceling the extravaganza, although not originally on the agenda, was brought up by Councilman Jim Miller as a specific to his agenda item calling for the freezing of city expenditures unless they are essential to city functions.” The agenda item, which was the official posting to the public, reads: “C&A to direct City Manager to freeze all City expenditures with the exception of those required for essential City Services.”

Not originally on the agenda means not on the agenda, period. You can’t go back to put something on an agenda, which is significant in itself, without reposting. Saying that the change is simply a clarification in this situation just doesn’t cut it.

It would be an unacceptable stretch to think that the cancellation of an event for which tickets had been sold, music had been contracted (where the city stands to be subjected to legal action and lose unbudgeted serious money from the general fund), and which has been well-attended in previous years and anxiously awaited by a good number of our citizenry, can be communicated by the very general freeze announcement quoted above.

I think what we have here is a violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act as far as sufficiency of information on a proposed agenda item is concerned.

Cox Enterprises Inc. v. Board of Trustees, 706 S.W. 2d 956, 959 (Tex. 1986) has clear application here. In that case, the board of Austin ISD hired a new superintendent under the agenda item “personnel.” The Texas Supreme Court held: “(s) election of a new superintendent is not in the same category as ordinary personnel matters -- and a label like ‘personnel’ fails as a description of that subject.”

In no way am I addressing the merits of the action taken. However, we can’t ignore the very real requirements of the Open Meetings Act simply because we didn’t plan our agenda item properly or wanted to avoid adverse reaction from the public.

ALFRED “FRED” Q. GONZALES

Floresville
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Alvin Charmaine  
December 16, 2012 12:58pm
 
Are yall going to push criminal charges and jail time?

 
El Gringo  
Flo town  
December 14, 2012 12:34pm
 
I agree with you Airborne Trooper !!!!

 
Airborne Trooper  
wilson cty  
December 14, 2012 10:50am
 
Its obvious this woman is listening to danny and continues to not join the new council members and do what the people want. She has her own agenda and now finally feels what Mr Morones and Mr Guererro went thru the last 2 years. ... More ›

 
Concerned Tax Payer  
Floresville, Texas  
December 14, 2012 9:57am
 
Wonder if she went straight to Tejada last night. Lou needs to reminder her that what is discussed in executive session is confidential. She was pissed!!!! She is so loyal to Tejada can she be trusted? She has a responsibility ... More ›

 
Airborne Trooper  
wilson cty  
December 14, 2012 9:21am
 
Sorry didnt mean to say "peons will" was suppose to say the "peoples will", damn Iphone auto correct

 
Airborne Trooper  
wilson cty  
December 14, 2012 8:48am
 
Think it's time someone file a petition to recall her. She continues to listen to Tejada and follow his agenda. Has no concern for what the citizens want. She needs to go. This woman is as crooked and evil as they come. She ... More ›

 
LaLa Land  
Floresville, TX  
December 14, 2012 8:38am
 
After last night' s meeting, I have a few questions. All of a sudden Castillo and Fred are concerned about the City Charter and the Open Meetings Act. Where were y'all when the citizens were questioning the same thing about ... More ›

 
Airborne Trooper  
wilson cty  
December 13, 2012 6:22pm
 
This is typical of Fred, makes a statement then never seems to defend his reasoning agfter we question him on it. I think he is trying to throw us off of little Danny's extravaganza topic

 
Fed Up With Arrogance  
Sin City  
December 13, 2012 1:01pm
 
The audacity of you writing this article knowing full well FEDC violated the open meetings act. Now you are an expert in this??? Remember, Fred, you point one finger there are three pointing right back at you. Did you remind ... More ›

 
One Voice  
Floresville  
December 13, 2012 10:19am
 
The City Attorney was there - and when this topic was challenged - it was accepted to continue. Get over it.

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