Um. Is Ron Hankins REALLY Rip Van Winkle and somehow slept through all the TOMA meetings he attended?


 

Um. Is Ron Hankins REALLY Rip Van Winkle and somehow slept through all the TOMA meetings he attended?
 


24 August 2014 at 12:57:54 PM
salon

Had to laugh at Ron Hankins again, being unintentionally hilarious. I watched part of the Somervell County Hospital Board meeting of 8/21/2014 and, although he may have done this more often, at least twice in the part I heard, Ron Hankins tried to bring up items that weren't on the agenda. According to the Texas Open Meetings Act.

VII. Notice Requirements
A. Content
The Act requires written notice of all meetings. Section 551.041 of the Act provides:
A governmental body shall give written notice of the date, hour, place, and subject of each meeting held by the governmental body.171
A governmental body must give the public advance notice of the subjects it will consider in an open 
meeting or a closed executive session.172 The Act does not require the notice of a closed meeting to 
cite the section or subsection numbers of provisions authorizing the closed meeting.173 No judicial 
decision or attorney general opinion states that a governmental body must indicate in the notice 
whether a subject will be discussed in open or closed session,174 but some governmental bodies do 
include this information. If the notices posted for a governmental body’s meetings consistently 
distinguish between subjects for public deliberation and subjects for executive session deliberation, 
an abrupt departure from this practice may raise a question as to the adequacy of the notice.175
Governmental actions taken in violation of the notice requirements of the Act are voidable.176 If 
some actions taken at a meeting do not violate the notice requirements while others do, only the 
actions in violation of the Act are voidable.177 (For a discussion of the voidability of the  governmental body’s actions, refer to Part XI.C. of this Handbook.)
The notice must be sufficient to apprise the general public of the subjects to be considered during the 
meeting. 

You would think that since Mr Hankins has had long service as county attorney and has attended many many commissioners court meetings that he would be aware that any items to be discussed must be on the agenda, reason being that ciizens can then decide whether to attend or not and presumably responsible board members would have a chance to prepare for meetings. And, in fact, the board decided at their initial meeting that ANY board member can get something put on the agenda. Not a question of "WHY IS THIS ON THE AGENDA" or "WHO PUT THIS ON THE AGENDA" as if the person speaking of this has some kind of censorship or micromanagement of the agenda, but that any item any board members puts on has the right to be heard before the public. 

But that's when something IS on the agenda. I wonder why Ron Hankins brings things up that were not agenda items, especially when he should know better, including that doing that is a violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act. It's not that he doesn't know he CAN put something on the agenda beforehand. And it definitely isn't as if anyone on the board has to answer some rogue question that is not germaine to the agenda items at hand. Perhaps Ron Hankins should spend some time reading the Texas Open Meetings Act since he appears to be unfamiliar with its tenets. 

 


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