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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


Mystery council person

Last week a wire service story on certain Texas towns filing a lawsuit against the Open Meetings Act, created a small mystery as to who the Sugar Land official was that joined the lawsuit.

Initially a couple of the stories indicated Sugar Land had joined the lawsuit. Doug Adolph said there was some confusion because of the reports. “The city of Sugar Land is not involved in the lawsuit,” he noted.

Adolph knew one of the Sugar Land city council members had joined in to fight the Open Meetings Act, but he didn’t know which one.

Well, enter Russell Jones, who fessed up that he was the mystery council member who joined with other officials and cities in Texas to fight portions of the Open Meetings Act.

Those opposed to the section, say the act violates elected officials First Amendment rights to free speech by preventing elected officials from speaking in public or private on issues facing the public.

Basically, the act prohibits a quorum of a governmental body from meeting in secret. That law has been around for generations. But with the advent of new modes of communication, such as Twitter, Face book, and e-mail, the rules have become a bit more complex. The lawsuit seeks to exclude social networking and e-mails from the Open Meetings Act.

Anyhow, Russell is the one person in Sugar Land that decided to fight the law.

Merry Christmas to all!

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Contact skinnerc1@tconline.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:
December 23, 2009