TCAA, in conjunction with the Texas Municipal League, files amicus briefs and comments in support of cities on many issues. To keep up to date on the status of these issues, go to https://www.tml.org/DocumentCenter/View/1448/AmicusBriefUpdate_121319.
Annexation/Open Meetings Act: City of Terrell v. Edmonds, No. 05-19-01248-CV, in the Fifth Court of Appeals of Texas. This case involves a challenge to a temporary injunction issued in response to the City of Terrell’s plans to annex multiple properties under the “grandfathering” provision in H.B. 347 (2019). TML and TCAA responded only to the most important issue in the case. The issue is that the purpose of a TOMA agenda is to provide general notice to the public. It has never required that an agenda be drafted to provide individual notice to those targeted for annexation. The Municipal Annexation Act, on the other hand, is designed to provide individual notice to certain affected parties. In any case, TML and TCAA argue that the only way to challenge an alleged procedural defect, including an alleged notice defect under TOMA, is through a quo warranto action. The brief was filed on December 13, 2019.
Open Meetings Act/Public Comment: RQ-0313-KP, Open Meetings Act. This request asks the attorney general to interpret the provisions of House Bill 2840, passed in 2019. The bill, codified at Texas Government Code Section 551.007, amends the Act to address public testimony at open meetings. TML and TCAA, on behalf of the Texas Association of Counties, the Texas Conference of Urban Counties, the Texas Association of School Board’s Legal Assistance Fund, the Texas Water Conservation Association, the Texas Association of Groundwater Districts, and State Representative Terry Canales (D – Edinburg), filed comments arguing that: (1) a governmental body, not a member of the public, controls when a person may speak at meeting, so long as that chance is offered either before or during the agenda item, but not necessarily both; and (2) a member of the public’s right to address a governmental body under Section 511.007 is, by the express terms of the section, subject to reasonable rules adopted by the governmental body. The comments were filed on December 5, 2019.