Select Page

Photograph By DIEGO REYNA

Featured: City Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr. in the Council Chamber of Edinburg City Hall on Monday, February 8, 2016, during a joint work session of the Edinburg City Council and the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court on the proposed $150 million Hidalgo County Courthouse, which will be built in Edinburg.

Photograph By DIEGO REYNA

The results of an annual audit, which help ensure citizens that public entities are properly managing government programs and services, regarding the fiscal year 2014-2015 activities of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, will be presented at Edinburg City Hall on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. The audit, along with several other key items, are part of the regular monthly meeting of the EEDC Board of Directors. The session, which will be held in the Council Chamber, begins at noon. It also will be televised live on the Edinburg Cable Network. The EEDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.

••••••

Annual audit, deliberations for key projects, on agenda for noon session on Tuesday, March 22, by the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

The results of an annual audit, which help ensure citizens that public entities are properly managing government programs and services, regarding the fiscal year 2014-2015 activities of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, will be presented at Edinburg City Hall on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.

The audit, along with several other key items, including five which will be considered in executive session, as allowed by state law, are part of the regular monthly meeting of the EEDC Board of Directors.

The session, which will be held in the Council Chamber, begins at noon. It also will be televised live on the Edinburg Cable Network.

The EEDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.

The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Ruppert as Members.

Agustín García, Jr. and Mayor Richard García are not related.

In addition to the presentation of the audit, which will be delivered in open session by Noel Garza, CPA,
other items on the agenda, both in open session and behind closed doors, are:

Discuss and consider authorizing the Executive Director to enter into an Agreement with Nobel Builders regarding the monumentation at the North Industrial Park;

Discuss and consider authorizing the Executive Director to amend the Demolition Expense Agreement with Alonzo Cantú; and

Discuss and consider authorizing the Executive Director to amend the Demolition Contract with Camacho Demolition, LLC.

In Executive Session, the EEDC Board of Directors and key staff will move to a board room located behind the Council Chamber to discuss their strategies regarding several projects and proposals. If any action is to be taken on those Executive Session items, it must take place in public, back in the Council Chamber.

The Executive Session issues are:

Deliberate the offers of financial or other incentives to business prospects;

Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to amend the Development Agreement with Project Forum;

Deliberate approval of a Resolution and Real Estate Agreement for the purchase of property out of Lots 14-15, Block 233, Old Bank Building, Edinburg Original Townsite, Hidalgo County, Texas;

Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Development Agreement with Eleazar Rodriguez dab La Palm ADC.

Deliberate approval of a Resolution and Agreement for the least of real property known as Lot 9, North Industrial Park, Hidalgo County, Texas; and

Consultation with attorney.

According to the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, closed, or executive sessions, may be held by a governmental body in certain situations.

Executive sessions are permitted when a body is meeting with its attorney on litigation or a settlement offer; deliberating personnel matters; deliberating the purchase or lease of property; discussing certain financial contract negotiations; or discussing deployment of security devices.

Several other exceptions to open meetings are also contained in the Texas Open Meetings Act.

The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas strives to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in public and works to protect the liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment, according to its website (http://foift.org).

The organization assists individual citizens, journalists and government officials through educational seminars, an annual conference and a speakers bureau. FOIFT also file briefs in important legal cases addressing open government and freedom of speech and press. It’s FOI Hotline connects Texans with volunteer attorneys who explain open government laws. The FOIFT’s Light of Day project teaches college students how to use public records in their reporting. It is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.

Also according to the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas:

Texas Open Meetings Act

The Texas Open Meetings Act is detailed in Chapter 551 of the Government Code. It states that governmental bodies must hold open meetings unless there is an authorized reason for a closed session, also known as an executive session.

Key provisions of the act are as follows:

Covered Entities

Governing boards, commissions, agencies and other bodies created within the executive and legislative branches of government are subject to the Texas Open Meetings Act. Commissioners courts, city councils, school boards and certain nonprofit corporations providing public services or spending taxpayer money are among the entities covered. Certain property owners’ associations also are subject to the law.

Quorum

A quorum refers to a majority of members of a governing body, unless a quorum is defined differently by an applicable law or rule or charter of the body. A quorum must be present for the body to take action.

Posting of Notice

The governmental body must give the public notice of the date, time, place and subject of an upcoming meeting. The notice must be posted in a place readily accessible to the general public at all times at least 72 hours before the meeting. In case of an emergency or “urgent public necessity,” a meeting notice or addition to a meeting agenda may be posted at least two hours prior to the meeting. The governmental body must clearly identify the emergency.

Other Exceptions to Posting Law

Boards or commissions with statewide jurisdiction must have their meeting notice posted on the Internet by the secretary of state at least seven days before a meeting. Committees of the Texas Legislature are not subject to the meeting notice rules above. Their rules are set by the Texas House and Senate.

Closed Sessions

Closed, or executive, sessions may be held by a governmental body in certain situations. Executive sessions are permitted when a body is meeting with its attorney on litigation or a settlement offer; deliberating personnel matters; deliberating the purchase or lease of property; discussing certain financial contract negotiations; or discussing deployment of security devices. Several other exceptions to open meetings are also contained in the Texas Open Meetings Act.

Deliberations Between Meetings

Under a new provision of the act that took effect September 1, 2013, members of a governing body are allowed to communicate with one another about public business between meetings if they do so in writing and on a publicly accessible online message board. The message board must be prominently displayed and easy for the public to find on the government entity’s website. Officials may not take action on the message board. That must wait for a posted meeting.

Video Conferencing

The Texas Open Meetings Act now allows for members of a governmental body to attend a public meeting via a video conference call. The head of the board or commission must be physically present in the designated meeting place and the public must be given access to that meeting space. The public must be able to witness the comments and actions of those officials attending the meeting remotely via audio and video equipment and be able to participate via the videoconferencing just as they would at a traditional public meeting.

••••••

For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com or to http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

Share This

Share this post with your friends!