We had an incident in last week’s city council meeting where one of the city representatives made it known that the city had culpability in the problems in the ongoing San Jacinto Plaza disgrace.
City council has been discussing the problems with the quality of life project in executive session for many weeks now. They use executive session so that the public will not know what is going on.
At one point the city representative started to discuss an aspect of the problems with the project and the mayor interrupted in a manner that indicated she should not continue disclosing information.
Executive session discussions are not required to be kept secret
The Texas Open Meetings act makes it illegal to disclose to the public a certified agenda or tape of an executive session. Participants in executive center are allowed to discuss and make statements about what occurred.
Council’s discussions about the project do not need to be conducted in executive session. They could instead have a status report made during the open session each week telling us what the current situation is. They would not have to discuss the city’s potential liabilities to the contractor.
Council had indications that this project would be a problem when they approved the contractor. Unsuccessful bidders stood in front of council and the public and told us that the project could not be done for the money being discussed. Council ignored the information and gave the contract to the firm that did much of the remodeling needed to move city hall. Those contracts were on a no-bid basis.
The city representative was trying to do the right thing.
City staff resisted. It looked like another railroad job.
Thankfully council prevailed.
We deserve better