About the Author
Elizabeth Pagano is the editor of the Austin Monitor.
Most Popular Stories
Discover News By District
Council removes Open Meetings provision for task force
Friday, September 18, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano
On Thursday, City Council voted unanimously to release the Community Engagement Task Force from the Texas Open Meetings Act. It also took a moment to learn about which city bodies are – and aren’t – subject to the Open Meetings Act. Assistant City Attorney John Steiner explained that the state law applies only to governmental bodies – those that can make sovereign decisions – not boards, commissions or task forces that are purely advisory. However, the city has its own ordinance extending the Open Meetings Act to advisory boards and commissions. Steiner explained that even that ordinance does not apply to temporary, mission-driven task forces like the one in question. “The only reason they would be subject to Open Meeting compliance is if in the resolution by which you create the task force you said it will. In the case of … the Community Engagement Task Force, the resolution that created it said it would. It didn’t have to say that, and so, essentially, now the Council is taking it back.”
Join Your Friends and Neighbors
We're a nonprofit news organization, and we put our service to you above all else. That will never change. But public-service journalism requires community support from readers like you. Will you join your friends and neighbors to support our work and mission?