UPDATE: Here's a copy of the agenda for Tuesday's special city council meeting. It's an interesting read.
Friday marked another interesting day in municipal governance at Galveston City Hall. Sources say City Attorney Dorothy Palumbo "ordered" or "demanded," depending on who's telling the story, all city staff members and, more importantly, city council members surrender their copies of an outside attorney's report about the city's options for fighting plans to build scattered-site public housing.
The report caused a stir Thursday when Daily News reporter John Wayne Ferguson reported about it. His story, based on the confidential report, revealed several possible strategies the city could pursue to fight public housing.
Palumbo demanded the newspaper return any confidential documents and called for a special meeting Tuesday, which seems to be designed to smoke out Ferguson's source.
Her demand Friday, if it was such, raises some interesting questions. The main one being how can the city attorney, an employee of the city council, "demand" or "order" council members to do anything?
Some observers of Thursday's meeting reported being amazed and incensed that the city attorney had demanded a meeting be called and made calls for litigation against the newspaper without ever having asked the council what it wanted to do about the situation.
Those actions underscore complaints the paper has been receiving for months accusing Palumbo of overstepping her authority, assuming power rightly belonging to the council or city manger, and seeming to work directly for Mayor Lewis Rosen, rather than for the council as a whole, as the city charter demands.
It will be interesting to see which of the council members acquiesces, perhaps obeys is a better word, Palumbo's order to return the report.
Meanwhile, I hear the city has posted a three-page agenda for the Tuesday meeting. I've not seen it. The city hadn't posted it on line the last time I looked.
Can't wait to get a copy of it, though, after one person who had seen it called it a "wild and crazy agenda."