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Tag Archives: Texas Open Meetings Act

With public comment procedures in flux, two dozen zoning cases postponed

City Council heard many fewer zoning cases than expected last week after city staff decided to postpone the cases because of a surprise reinterpretation of public meeting participation rules.  When staffers originally gave public notice for 24 zoning cases scheduled…

Conduct of meetings is going to change – and change again

Just as Austin’s most civically engaged citizens – including some new to the process – have gotten used to phoning in their comments on the City Council agenda, the rules are changing. In addition, Council will be considering new rules…

City ethics commission wrestles with access during pandemic

In its previous, pre-pandemic incarnation, the city’s Ethics Review Commission met in a back room of City Hall that was often jammed full of commissioners, accusers, defenders, and occasionally, reporters. But the meetings were open to the public, and once…

Neighbors win Open Meetings suit again

Once again, the city of Austin finds itself on the losing end of a legal battle over public information. Last week, the 14th Court of Appeals sided with the Lake Austin Collective, which sued the city for failing to give…

Featured Collection: Austin Energy 2022 rate case

Austin Energy ramps up outreach for proposed rate changes

Austin Energy has entered the public hearing phase of its base rate review process, following its proposal to raise service costs. The monthslong dialogue with stakeholders and city staff, slated for resolution by City Council in November, has surfaced predictable…

front of City Hall

Council rules unlikely to change despite opinion

Despite a ruling by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals dismantling a provision of the Texas Open Meetings Act that prevents local government officials from meeting in small groups in what is known as a “walking quorum,” it seems unlikely…

Questions arise over CodeNEXT votes

Attorney Bill Aleshire has alerted Mayor Steve Adler that a constituent saw a problem with the new method of counting City Council votes at Tuesday’s work session on CodeNEXT. That method required members to signal their support for an idea…

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Champion tract

Judge finds city violated open meetings law again

Litigation about the Champion tract never really goes away. Originally filed in the early 1990s, the litigation simply morphs from one issue to another and one venue to another. It has cost the city of Austin an almost endless amount…

Lake Austin group sues city over open meetings

A group of Lake Austin homeowners on Monday sued the city of Austin, claiming that the city’s notice concerning the zoning and waiver of environmental regulations on what is known as the Champion tract, was inadequate and therefore violated the…

Austin Police Department Budget, 2012-2022

During the 2020-21 budget process, City Council cut $31.5 million from APD’s budget, citing the protests and “community outcry against the disproportionate impact of police violence on Black Americans, Latinx Americans and other non-white ethnic communities,” according to the approved…

Bastrop's lawyer claims Aleshire in contempt

David Bragg, the attorney for the city of Bastrop, has threatened to seek a contempt of court ruling against Austin attorney Bill Aleshire because of Aleshire’s representation of a Bastrop resident in a lawsuit accusing the city of violating the…

Water conference raises open meetings questions

An attorney for the nonprofit League of Independent Voters of Texas warned the Texas Water Development Board on Sunday that the agency was in jeopardy of violating the Texas Open Meetings Act. However, by the end of the day Monday,…

Judge considers Rodgers' Pilot Knob claims

How much notice should the City Council agenda provide to citizens who want to know what Council is doing that may impact their taxes and water rates? That’s one of the questions Judge Stephen Yelenosky will have to answer when…

Suit: Pilot Knob vote violated state, federal law

Civic activist Brian Rodgers has amended the lawsuit he initially filed in February against the city of Austin, challenging the city’s entire scheme for financing water and wastewater improvements at the controversial Pilot Knob development in Southeast Travis County. Rodgers’…

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