Somervell Citizens Getting To Hear and Understand how Decisions are Reached? Nope - 7/23/2016Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas

Expo Center -Somervell County Commissioners Court

Somervell Citizens Getting To Hear and Understand how Decisions are Reached? Nope - 7/23/2016

23 July 2016 at 12:06:46 PM

Somervell County Commissioners Court for July 22, 2016 had an agenda item regarding the Expo Center. 

6. Discuss/take action on options regarding the Expo Center.

Reasonably, those who attended might expect that AT THAT MEETING that action item would be discussed and action taken through a motion and voting process. But there was not. Instead Danny Chambers said this. (edited for the point, to see the whole interchange on video, click here)

Let's go ahead and jump to item # 6 which says Discuss and take action on Expo center. After all the ideas that Frank has brought to us.. many ideas have been discussed, we think, we're going to give it an option operate very very close to zero.... Right now, this court, I hope I'm speaking for everyone, we're willing to stay on board
When was this discussed and a decision made, since it certainly didn't happen at THIS meeting. It surely can't have been at the budget workshop meeting since no votes could be  taken there, not on the agenda(July 20 2016) . It can't be from the meeting on the 18th since no decision votes were taken then. And, really, should there be an expectation that if there was discussion of this at some previous meeting, everybody at THIS one has heard and knows? Especially when THIS was to the meeting in which action was *to be taken*, presumably after all discussed and then a vote.
Anyone that attended that meeting of the (plural) commissioners expected to hear ALL the commissioners who wanted to discuss the issues, not merely Judge Chambers, who did not invite any discussion, did not call for a motion, and there was no vote potentially taken. Why is this important? Not  merely for the fact that we could hear any commissioner's opinoin but also see, potentially, how they voted if a motion brought up. Instead we heard "I hope I'm speaking for everyone". Well, why HOPE, what SHOULD have happened was an open discussion and VOTE so you would and all of us in attendance would KNOW. 

After the meeting was over, Danny Chambers called up Sandra Ramsay, who is City of Glen Rose mayor pro-tem up to talk to him. The meeting was over, and yet every commissioner in attendance remained in seats, listening,  for several minutes into the discussion Ramsay and Chambers were having, with Andy Lucas, Somervell County Attorney, sitting at the table in front a few feet away. In other words, there was a quorum of commisioners but no meeting, The appearance was that this was not "How are the kids" but govt business-related. Why was this appropriate?  I had shut off my camera after the meeting was called to adjournment but from now I'm going to stay there and leave it running until all the people leave, since apparently there was additional business discussed. Would have been different, of course, if he had asked Ramsay to come to his office where he had a one on one conversation that didn't have ALL the commissioners listening attentively. (Picture at right taken AFTER the commissioners had finally left, with my iphone)

ALL business that requires a quorum of elected officials should be discussed in the public eye and any decisions reached should be reached where the public can hear and see. NOT decided at some time in the past. (Worse when public business that ought to be discussed because it impacts taxpayer dollars is never even put on any agenda). 

P.S. I've been on a Sandra Ramsay admiration tour the last few weeks. I don't agree with her about everything, which is fine in a democracy. I absolutely love that she repeatedly during meetings brings up explanations of items being discussed and SAYS that it's for people in the audience to hear and understand. She shows respect for the taxpayer by doing this and more discussion and explanation, that potentially involves ALL elected officials, is always better, plus it comports with the philosophy behind the Texas Open Meetings Act

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