Proud to thwart transparency

July 16, 2019

As part of the city’s 2020 budget process this slide was included to tell us what their legal department did last year:

Note that they tell us that they processed 5,469 open records requests.

They seem to be proud of the fact that they got the Texas attorney general to support denying release of information on 482 of them.

They could of told us that they handled the requests so well that on average they responded within X days, thus providing good service and promoting transparency.

Instead they focused on telling us how often they were able to deny information.

We deserve better

Brutus


Closed meetings violations

June 17, 2019

The other day we wrote about apparent open meetings violations that the city committed recently.

The next day in a regular city council meeting their agenda contained the following after showing a portion of the meeting would be in executive session:

“Discussion and action on the following:”

The agenda then listed 12 items that they planned to handle in executive session.

The problem here is that they cannot take action in executive session.  They must do it in open session, which is open to the public.

We deserve better

Brutus


Open meetings violations

June 12, 2019

If the following two documents are correctly done our city council and our city attorney are in flagrant violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act.

They held a special city council meeting on Monday, May 13, 2019.  They posted an agenda that told us that they would be considering seven items.

The agenda for the special city council meeting on Monday, May 13, 2019 can be read here.

The minutes of the meeting reflect an entirely different story.  From the minutes:

“The agenda items for the Regular City Council [meeting] of May 13, 2019 were reviewed.”

According to their minutes they reviewed items from a future city council meeting.  They have the right to do that but it has to be on the agenda of the meeting where they do it.  In this case it was not.

According to their records they did not have a regular city council meeting on May 13, 2019 but they did have one on May 14, 2019.

The May 13, 2019 meeting was a special city council meeting that had a publicly posted agenda.  That agenda did not include the items that were to be considered in the meeting the day after.

However the minutes of the May 13 meeting indicate that they did consider items that were going to be part of the May 14, 2019 meeting.

According to the Texas supreme court “The notice [agenda] must be sufficient to apprise the general public of the subjects to be considered during the meeting. ”

The minutes of that meeting can be read here.

We deserve better

Brutus

 


Strange things at TXDOT

June 4, 2019

I heard the other day that the three top TXDOT employees working in the El Paso area left their positions on the same day recently.

Does anyone know what happened?

We deserve better

Brutus


Helping the state of Texas out

May 28, 2019

Item 11.1 on the Tuesday, May 28, 2019 city council authorizes the expenditure of $230,000 (with an additional $230,000 if deemed necessary) for the city to pay a contractor to clean street medians on state owned streets within the city.

That the Director of Purchasing & Strategic Sourcing be authorized to issue a Purchase Order to MG Evergreen, LLC referencing Contract 2018-712 City Wide New Median Maintenance. This change order is to increase the contract by $230,000.00 for a total amount not to exceed $3,599,400.95. The change order will allow the City to utilize this contract as the primary tool to clean landscaped medians on state right of way until August 31, 2019; Additionally that the Director of Purchasing & Strategic Sourcing be authorized to issue an additional change order if necessary in the amount $230,000.00 administratively and if funding is identified.

 

Can’t the state of Texas pay its own bills?

Wouldn’t you think that our mayor would take the state to task on this?

We deserve better

Brutus


Charles O’Hara road

May 15, 2019

The Tuesday, May 14, 2019 city council agenda has an item on it seeking approval of a resolution that indicates the city’s support for four road projects.

One of them is a project that would connect loop 375 to NM404 at I-10, through what we call the Anthony gap.

The slide evidently came from the Texas department of transportation.

If built the bypass would allow 18 wheelers to bypass I-10 through the city.

This would be better

Brutus


Directory of your state elected officials

April 23, 2019

Take a look at this handy web page:

https://wrm.capitol.texas.gov/home

Enter your address and you will see who your elected officials are at the state level.

You can then click on the official’s name and see various ways to contact them.

More of us need to take the time to tell these people what we are thinking.

We deserve better

Brutus


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