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 http://www.tml.org/p/AMICUSBRIEFUPDATE31314.pdf.
Municipal Barriers to Wireless Tower Facilities: Acceleration of Broadband Deployment by Improving Wireless Facilities Siting Policies, Acceleration of Broadband Deployment: Expanding the Reach and Reducing the Cost of Broadband Deployment by Improving Policies Regarding Public Rights of Way and Wireless Facilities Siting, Amendment of Parts 1 and 17 of the Commission’s Rules Regarding Public Notice Procedures for Processing Antenna Structure Registration Applications for Certain Temporary Towers, 2012 Biennial Review of Telecommunications Regulations, WT Docket No. 13-238, WC Docket No. 11-59, RM-11688 (terminated), WT Docket No. 13-32, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 28 FCC Rcd 14238 (Sept. 26, 2013). The Federal Communications Commission released a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” regarding, generally, municipal barriers to the collocation of wireless antenna on existing structures. TML, the coalition of cities, and the City of Houston filed reply comments stating, among other things, that: (1) the U.S. Constitution does not allow municipal property to be taken without adequate compensation; (2) mandatory collocation regulations should not be applied to city-owned facilities (e.g., cities acting in a proprietary function); and (3) local safety and development regulations should remain intact. The reply comments were filed on March 5, 2014.
Contractual Immunity: City of Dallas v. Albert, No. 13-0940 in the Supreme Court of Texas. TML and TCAA filed an amicus brief in support of the City of Dallas on February 26, 2014. This case raises the same issues as City of Houston v. Williams¸ 353 S.W3d 128 (Tex. 2011). In both cases, the issue is whether a city’s ordinances, charter provisions, and personnel policies create an employment contract enforceable under Chapter 271 of the Local Government Code. Plaintiffs are trying to enforce the alleged “contract” to receive additional pay they argue was contracted for in the city’s ordinances, charter provisions, and personnel policies. TML/TCAA argued that this case can be distinguished from the City of Houston v. Williams case (where the Supreme Court of Texas did find a contract created by ordinances and other city documents) because the ordinances and policies in this case were adopted over a series of years and were not meant to be a contract. TML/TCAA also continued to make the same policy argument that was presented in Williams — a city should not be saddled with a contract created from such disparate documents and not planned or prepared for by the city.