Thursday, November 13, 2014

Irony in Action

Tonight, at the Charter Commission meeting, a little bit of irony took place.

The meeting opened and one person got up to address the committee concerning a point of order. The point of order was that the Charter Commission seems to holding meeting that do not comply with the City Charter.

So it seems, we find irony in action.

Here is where they seem to be in non-compliance with the City Charter:

Section 3.10. Open meetings. (Rev 11/14/07)

All meetings of the City Council and all committees thereof shall be open to the public except as otherwise permitted by State law, and the rules of the City Council shall provide that citizens of the City shall have a reasonable opportunity to be heard at any such meetings, in regard to any matter there considered.

State law references: Open meetings, Vernon's Ann. Civ. St. art. 6252-17.

It would seem to me that if there were any meeting of the council or any committees, at each meeting time must be set aside for a reasonable opportunity the be heard.

When the person got up to point out this non-compliance by the very people who are reviewing and modifying the City Charter, both the chairman of the committee and the city attorney interrupted, in what I thought was a loud manner, and would not even let him get any part of a sentence completely. Being shouted down would be a fair description of what happened.

This mistake will probably be corrected for the future meetings.

If you have taken time to view the video of the first Charter Commission meeting, you will probably understand how this rather rude behavior came to be. In the first video, it was made clear that the council wanted one public hearing and did not want any citizen input at any of the rest of the meetings.

The problem with having the first public hearing was that there was no information to comment on. How the city officials would expect informed comment on proposed change at this meeting is a mystery to me.

There was also not information provide to the public prior to the first two meetings. I know at least one complaint was made to the Charter Commission about this.

Today they changed the city website and included the Charter Commission packets. So at least for the third meeting, people had some idea of what was to be discussed. That is an improvement.

Also there is a relatively new button on the website where you can submit your comments to the Charter Commission. This is another improvement.

So the situation now is that you can download the commission packet, but if you want to address the commission in person, there is no way to do so.

This problem will probably be addressed by the next meeting. I would find it hard to believe that the commission in charge of reviewing the charter, would continue to hold meetings that do not comply with the charter.


  1. It is not irony to have the folks who are reviewing the charter to not understand or comply with the charter. It is just the Richardson way. They have been told wrong.

    1. Could they ahve been specifically chosen for that point? Who knows. What I do know for sure, the city attorney should have known better. He seems to state he has reviewed the charter at length. Or maybe he plays on ignorance. Who knows.