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Breaking News


Election issues under scrutiny in Floresville




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Wilson County News
August 30, 2016, 9:17am
4,055 views | 30 comments

In what appears to be a last-minute effort to change its election date, Floresville has called a special city council meeting for Wednesday, Aug. 31, beginning at 6:30 p.m. An amended agenda was filed late Sunday afternoon, Aug. 28.

The agenda includes a closed-door session to obtain legal advice on the upcoming city council elections, the city’s compliance with the Help Americans Vote Act, election code provisions, election dates, and related issues.

Publication of this agenda followed discussion in the Aug. 25 city council meeting about election issues, including disqualifying Tomas Robles, who had filed for Place 1. (Read more about this, page 2A.)

Councilman Daniel Tejada urged the council to retain attorneys Jose Garza and Rolando Rios for legal advice on election-related issues.

Councilman Johnny Ray Nieto asked why the council should retain “outside” attorneys when the city already retains attorneys.

“Rios and Garza are specialists in election law,” Tejada answered. He and Councilman Gerard Jimenez hinted at action to move city elections back to May, so that all Floresville could again have one polling place at City Hall.

“I don’t know if that can be accomplished in the 76 days before the [Nov. 8] election,” Hugg said.

In the vote to retain Rios and Garza, Councilman Gloria Morales Cantu and Jimenez joined Tejada in support, and Councilman Juan Ortiz joined Nieto in opposition.

The Texas Secretary of State advised Audrey Louis, a candidate for district attorney, on Monday that the voting date cannot be legally changed, pursuant to 41.0052 of the Texas Election Code.

Several city council candidates on the ballot for the Nov. 8 election expressed concern that council members may attempt to postpone the election to May 2017.

“A group of us will be meeting, so if the council votes to change, we’ll be prepared,” Place 2 candidate Nick Nissen said. “We’ll be there Wednesday in anticipation of the council doing the right thing.”

Place 3 candidate Frank S Ramirez said some council members must think their opponents have a better chance when people can vote at more than one location.

“The election is already set,” Ramirez said. “For them to try to change it is a desperate move by them.”

Cissy Gonzalez-Dippel, a candidate for mayor, also questioned the move.

“I am very disappointed that the council hired Rios and Garza,” she said. “They’re spending more money we don’t have to spend.”

Also on Wednesday’s agenda is adoption of the city budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2016.

Closed-session rules

A governmental body -- in this case, the Floresville City Council -- can consult behind closed doors, “executive session,” with its attorney only in specific circumstances.

According to Texas Government Code 551.071 and the Texas Open Meetings Handbook - Section 551.071, consultation in private with an attorney is allowed when the governmental body seeks advice about:

•Pending or contemplated litigation

•A settlement offer

•A matter in which the duty of the attorney to the governmental body under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of Texas clearly conflicts with this chapter.

The proposed closed-door consultation on the agenda for Wednesday does not appear to fall into any of these categories, as the agenda states the council seeks “... advice on upcoming Floresville city elections, its compliance with HAVA [Help Americans Vote Act], the provisions of the election code, election dates, and ... .”
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Larry Phillips  
Floresville, TX  
September 1 at 1:11pm
 
Any word on what happened in the meeting?

 
newguyntown  
floresville  
August 31 at 5:28pm
 
LOOK ITS SIMPLE,, before they go into executive session ask the mayor to cite which specific provison of texas code Section 551.071, they are utilizing to go into session. Get stuff on record so it can be used at later... More ›

 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
August 31 at 5:26pm
 
BroJames, the city manager can only do what the city council allows her to do. If there is no drainage it is because the city council is spending everything on baseball fields and nothing on maintenance, sewers, sidewalks, and... More ›

 
LaLa Land  
Floresville, TX  
August 31 at 5:24pm
 
Why is Lou getting involved when the Rios Firm is supposed to be handling this issue? Nothing like having a pletera of lawyers spending your tax dollars for no useful purpose. Do you have no scruples?

 
Jim Miller  
Floresville, TX  
August 31 at 5:12pm
 
Brojames: Please consult with the members of your congregation that you so reverently have referenced in your comments. It is these people that have yet to even consider the drainage needs of the City, much less the streets,... More ›

 
Jim Miller  
Floresville, TX  
August 31 at 5:06pm
 
CTP: This City Council, in the past 12 months, has incurred debt (Event Center, Tax Notes, FEDC Bonds, and USDA) that exceed $25 Million. Yet, today, there is still NO PLAN to repair our streets, or to provide for City Public... More ›

 
Jim Miller  
Floresville, TX  
August 31 at 5:03pm
 
Louis T Rosenberg and Company (To include Rios and Associates). Your argument is exponentially absurd! (1) You have completely ignored the provisions of the Texas Open Meetings Act, in so much as the Act specifically addresses... More ›

 
Concerned Tax Payer  
Floresville, Texas  
August 31 at 4:53pm
 
brojames - your very much misinformed about the City Manager. if it were not for her we would not have the USDA loan and grant to make much needed repairs and upgrades on our water and sewer system. Since being hired, she has... More ›

 
brojames  
floresville  
August 31 at 4:48pm
 
We do need a new city manger that is willing to work for the people of floresville an not on higher heal we have a bad drain problem that city manger turner for three months an nothing yet I pray for a New city manger an willing... More ›

 
Concerned Tax Payer  
Floresville, Texas  
August 31 at 4:41pm
 
Also from the Open Meetings Handbook. Note (2) below on what the Mayor must announce before entering into a closed session*****************Section 551.101 states the requirements for holding a closed session. It provides: If... More ›

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