TPA Hotline

Government agency minutes are public in whatever form they exist

Q: One of the city councils we cover came out of executive session after one hour behind closed doors. A member then made a motion “to discuss what was discussed” in executive session. Another member seconded the motion. The question was put to a vote. It passed unanimously. But curiously, there was no further discussion. 
And to top it off, we asked for documents related to the matter and were told no such documents existed. However, as we eventually found out, the documents we requested did exist but we got them too late to include any details in our story. 

Laws require notice of election in creation of district

Q: More than 100 qualified voters in our county signed a petition to create another emergency services district that includes their land.
Our county commissioners court approved the creation of the new district at a regular meeting and then a public hearing was conducted to get input from taxpayers. 
In short, enough support was shown and county officials acted as required according to the process outlined in Health and Safety Code Chapter 775 (EMERGENCY SERVICES DISTRICTS) — until now.

Newspaper publisher ponders run for local elected office

Q: What potential issues lay ahead for me if I run for a local public office? If elected, I would prefer to continue in my roles as a weekly newspaper publisher, editor, photographer, ad salesperson, circulation manager, web poster and floor sweeper; also civic club member, band booster, church member, etc.