City Council Gives Special Access to Closed Meeting

At the regularly scheduled City Council meeting on March 10, 2016, the City Council held an executive session, a meeting closed to the public.

Mayor Ball stated the purpose of the executive session was to discuss the transfer of assets from the Waterwood Park Property Owner’s Association and to discuss City Attorney consultation.

The Texas Open Meetings Act allows for closed sessions for certain circumstances.  The law (551.101) states that before an executive session is started, a quorum of the City Council must meet in an open meeting.  The Council must then state the reason for the closed session.

After stating the purpose of the executive session, Mayor Ball told the members of the audience they would have to leave the room.

Everyone left the room, except for the son of Alderman Melissa Matehuala, who was allowed to stay.

After everyone left the room, City Marshal Jesse Gutierrez was called back into the room for an unknown reason.  Shortly after, the Marshal’s wife, Heather Leal, announced to the group waiting outside the building that she wanted the keys to her car and then entered the room where the meeting closed to the public was taking place.  Leal was in the room for approximately 5 minutes.

After exiting the closed meeting, Leal claimed the City Council members weren’t discussing anything and were using the executive session to take a break to go to the bathroom.

Related: City Council Meeting Without Announcement: Violates Texas Law

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