RESCHEDULED- Notice of Special Open Meeting City of Glen Rose, 4b P&Z and Preservation Board- July 10 2010Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas
RESCHEDULED- Notice of Special Open Meeting City of Glen Rose, 4b P&Z and Preservation Board- July 10 2010
8 July 2010 at 11:30:53 AM
At the City of Glen Rose Special Session last night (July 8 2010) this meeting was rescheduled for the NEXT Saturday. I will post the video here of what was said, and have not seen an official notice cancelling the meeting yet, so consider this more of a heads up that requires a call into the city to verify.
UPDATE: Here's the video from last night about that.
HERE'S FROM PEGGY B
The retreat that was posted for July 10, 2010 has been rescheduled for July 17, 2010
Sorry for the confusion. Agenda to follow next week.
Courtesy of Peggy Busch!
NOTICE OF SPECIAL OPEN MEETING
CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF GLEN ROSE
4B TAX CORPORATION ADVISORY BOARD
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMITTEE
GLEN ROSE PRESERVATION BOARD
JULY 10, 2010
LUMINANT’S SOMERVELL TRAINING CENTER
Glen Rose, TX 76043
Members of the City Council will meet in Open Session at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 10, 2010, for the purpose of conducting a retreat and planning session for Fiscal Year 2010-11. A number of items related to City business may be discussed; however, no action will be taken at this meeting, and any decision or vote will be postponed until a later date.
SOME TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION:
Margaret Drake to make a presentation
City Administrator, when would be able to hire?
If no on Administrator will we pass the work on to the; Mayor or divide up between
the council members; add to the City Staff?
Hold on hiring or creating any new positions till 2012
Hold on road work till 2012
Oakdale pool if we do not receive the State grant in Aug.
Park & Trail grants for the adding to the river walk?
Increasing our ETJ to protect our northern border.
This is an open meeting and the public is welcome to attend. Directions to the meeting room are below.
Peggy Busch, City Secretary
I HEREBY CERTIFYthat the above NOTICE OF MEETING was posted on the Bulletin Board at Town Hall on Wednesday, July 06, 2010, at 2:00 P.M.
Peggy Busch, City Secretary
DIRECTIONS TO MEETING ROOM
Directions to Somervell Training Center
Coming from Ft.Worth/Granbury area, take Hwy 377 over the Lake Granbury Bridge to Hwy 144 (Glen Rose) off ramp. Go left on Hwy 144 towards Glen Rose. Travel approximately 10 miles south on HWY 144 past Squaw Creek Park Road to CR 302. Turn right on CR 302 and travel approximately 1.7 miles. Immediately after crossing low water bridge, turn right into the entrance to the Somervell Training Center. The entrance gate has a large sign above the gate stating (STC). Follow entrance road to the Training Center.
Coming from Cleburne or Glen Rose on Hwy 67, turn North at traffic light onto Hwy 144 towards Granbury. After traveling approximately .9 of a mile, CR 320 will be the first marked county road. The next marked road is CR 302. Turn left on CR 302 and travel approximately 1.7 miles northwest. Just prior to crossing the low water bridge is the entrance to Somervell Training Center. The entrance gate has a large sign above the gate stating (STC). Turn left and follow the entrance road to the Training Center.
Couple of things about this. This is an open meeting subject to the TOMA. TOMA requires that there be an agenda. "Some Topics for Discussion* isn't an agenda. Why? Because the public who will be attending should know EXACTLY what will be discussed, fully, so that they can decide whether they want to attend or not. You simply can't put generalities, as if the city council *may* be discussing or brainstorming this that. It MUST be specific. From TOMA
2. Preparing the Agenda An agenda is “[a] list of things to be done, as items to be considered at a meeting.” BLACK’S LAW
DICTIONARY 72 (9th ed. 2009). The terms “agenda” and “notice” are often used interchangeably in
discussing the Act because of the practice of posting the agenda as the notice of a meeting or as an
appendix to the notice.23
Some governmental entities are subject to statutes that expressly address agenda preparation.24
Other entities may adopt their own procedures for preparing the agenda of a meeting.25 Officers and
employees of the governmental body must avoid deliberations subject to the Act while preparing the
The second thing, which hub noticed, is that the posting says Wednesday on it, although the date differs and the time 2:00. If anyone today, for example, goes up and looks at the door posting, he or she will see *Wednesday*. A notice posted on Wednesday for a Saturday meeting is not 72 hours unless the Saturday meeting starts at 2:00 pm in the afternoon.
B. Time of Posting
Notice must be posted for a minimum length of time before each meeting. Section 551.043(a) states
the general time requirement as follows:
The notice of a meeting of a governmental body must be posted in a place readily
accessible to the general public at all times for at least 72 hours before the scheduled
time of the meeting, except as provided by Sections 551.044–551.046.162
It seems like the city believes that it can hold a sort of informal brainstorming session in which the items to be considered don't have to be explicitly listed. That's what they did last year, and took no minutes nor recorded the meeting.
For them to go ahead and have this meeting would be an Open Meetings Violation.
I have complained about this to Peggy. Peggy tells me that since they were not taking any action that they didn't have to post an agenda, I told her she was wrong and she said that she would talk to Andy about it. I sent a complaint in email to Ron Hankins and Andy Lucas as well as a Facebook message to Chris Bryant. What is so complicated about telling the public what you are going to be discussing?
Have they just now realized how much of a headache that Oakdale is and will be? Why hire anymore employees the current ones do as litle as possible. And ROAD work, everyone in town sees the current road work. The roads are getting worse and nothing is being done about it. What are they getting paid to do, ride around in city vehicles and act like they are doing something?
as for the email I sent to RB, I have gotten no response to it, which I knew that I would not. So I guess my next step is 1 of 2 things: send a letter to the editor of the newspaper or write the mayor, like that'll do any good, or speak up at a council meeting. I'll just might do all 3 cause this is for the birds. Of course I'll have to think long and hard about how and what I want to say cause when I just say or write the first thing that comes to mind I always get in trouble.
@pharper, good luck on getting a response to your message to Mr. Bryant, I have spoken to him several times on certain issues and nothing has been said or done about it.
This is not an agenda. I noticed the ETJ issue. ETJ is controlled by state law and follows the city boundary or city limits. A city cannot increase or add to its ETJ unless it annexes additional territory. Also, the size of the city's ETJ is based on the city's population bracket under the state law.
@texlib-That's interesting about the ETJ. I seem to recall recording a meeting a couple of years ago (actually more than one) where the ETJ was discussed, running it past an attorney, what the paperwork would look like, who it would involve, etc. My memory of that, which may be faulty, was that, basically, it was the people who live on the Hood County/Somervell border who signed the ETJ, sort of a promise that IF they ever are approached by Hood County, they will have committed not to be annexed. I'll try to get some time in the next few days to dig up that footage, would like your comments on that.
On the meeting. Agree about the meeting, and the notice above is NOT an agenda. First up, every time there is a notice of a meeting there is ALWAYS numbered items under a heading that says *Agenda* and ALWAYS a section that says
NOTICE:This agenda was correct and complete at the time it was submitted to the City’s Official Newspaper for publication. The City retains the right to make additions, deletions or corrections to this agenda until 72 hours prior to the time of the meeting.
Because this was not numbered and because it purposely didn't say Agenda and didn't have the disclaimer, it seems pretty clear that this considered a special circumstance that someone(s) thought didn't fall into the rules of the TOMA. But of course it did. And beyond that, what ii DID say as a subheading is:
SOME TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION:
Here's what's wrong with that. *Some* topics implies that there will be *other* topics that are NOT on the agenda but would be discussed at this meeting. The whole reason there's an agenda with exactly WHAT is going to be discussed is so that the public can be informed and decide whether a particular topic or issue is reason enough for them either to attend or to let their council person know their opinions and thoughts. If topics get brought up outside the *some topics* arena, and citizens didn't go because they didn't KNOW something was going to be discussed, the whole idea of an agenda FOR the public is moot. The flip side of that is that if items are not on the agenda, THEY CANNOT BE BROUGHT UP OR DISCUSSED, outside of a public comment that the council can only listen to but not comment on. I had heard, for example, that a 4-b member was going to bring up a tourism project for discussion. Guess what! It was NOT on the agenda, so he wouldn't have been able to do it.
Open Meetings Violations aside, seems to me there is a principle that is not being considered here, and that is the public's right to know what goes on. That ought to be paramount. Last year, at the retreat, Mayor Miller announced that there was no agenda, no minutes were going to be taken and no audio recorded. The audio that you see here is what WE recorded. (no news papers were at that meeting, only our online news) Apparently last year the City thought it could just sort of go off on their own and brainstorm, without regard for whether the public could find out what happened or not. It's the same reason that they so often went into executive (closed) session and talked about items that should have been in open session, like the signage. To put a fine point on it, the city has a lack of regard for the citizen's right to be informed.
We complained about this last year, and hub gave a heads up to the city long before this retreat that this needed to be a posted open meeting, with an agenda and with minutes and/or audio taken. It could not be an informal free for all. The fact that there is, clearly, still an attempt to have a free-wheeling brainstorm session that ignores TOMA, is not an accident.
In determining the adequacy of a particular notice, courts have considered various factors. A court will, for example, compare the content of the notice to the action taken at the meeting. See Markowski v. City of Marlin, 940 S.W.2d 720, 726 (Tex. App.--Waco 1997, writ denied). A court may also consider whether the notice departs from any customary practice where such custom establishes an expectation in the public about the subject of the meeting. See River Rd.Neighborhood Ass'n v. S. Tex. Sports, 720 S.W.2d 551, 557 (Tex. App.--San Antonio 1986, writ dism'd). Whether the subject is of special interest to the public is also a factor that may impact the adequacy of a notice under the Act. See Cox Enters., Inc. v. Bd. of Trs. of Austin Indep. Sch. Dist., 706 S.W.2d 956, 958-59 (Tex. 1986); Point Isabel Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Hinojosa, 797 S.W.2d 176, 179-81 (Tex. App.--Corpus Christi 1990, writ denied). Underlying these considerations is the fact that the provisions of the Act "are mandatory and are to be liberally construed in favor of open government." City of Farmers Branch v. Ramos, 235 S.W.3d 462, 467 (Tex. App.--Dallas 2007, no pet.).
We next consider instances in which the subject matter of a meeting has been determined to be inadequately described in a notice. In a 1986 case, the Texas Supreme Court considered a meeting notice that included general terms such as "personnel," "litigation," and "real estate matters." Cox Enters., Inc., 706 S.W.2d at 957. After explaining that notice under the Act "should specifically disclose the subjects to be considered at the upcoming meeting" the court held that those general terms "did not provide full and adequate notice, particularly where the subject slated for discussion was one of special interest to the public." Id. at 959.
Our conclusion here is not altered by the fact that the governing body does not, as you assert, "engage in any discussion" or "take any action regarding these items." Request Letter, supra note 2, at 6. Under the Act's definition of "meeting" a governmental body is subject to the Act, and its notice requirements, even when its members merely receive information about public business or public policy over which the body has supervision and control and do not engage in deliberations. See Tex. Gov't Code Ann. § 551.001(4)(B) (Vernon Supp. 2008); Martin v. Victoria Indep. Sch. Dist., No. 13-01-096-CV, 2002 WL 34215930, at *3 (Tex. App.--Corpus Christi Aug. 8, 2002, no pet.) (not designated for publication) ("[A] governmental body is subject to the Act even if the members merely receive information and do not engage in deliberations among themselves or with a third party including an employee of the governmental body[.]").
Again, does it matter if there was not going to be a vote about any items? No. Does it matter even if there's going to be discussion or the members merely receive information? No. Here's what I wrote another time when the City of Glen Rose broke the law by allowing a man to speak (and they discussed with him) when his topic was NOT listed on the agenda. As Joe Larsen said then
"By keeping the agenda vague, they seem to be allowing themselves free rein to speak about anything," he said. "That really undermines the whole idea of putting an agenda out. The whole idea is to keep the public apprised of what council is going to be talking about."
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