GALVESTON — Mayor Lewis Rosen opened today’s city council meeting by strongly asserting that the council does not hold secret meetings, and that the council has followed all applicable laws when holding closed-door, executive session meeting.
“The Galveston City Council does not have secret meetings. Period,” Rosen said. “The rules that we follow are the same rules that have been followed by prior city councils going as far back as any one can remember.”
Rosen said that the decisions the council makes about executive session follow the letter of the law, and made to protect both the city and the individuals involved.
“I am a strong believer in open government. It’s what makes our city and our country so great,” Rosen said. “I am also a strong believer in access to elected officials.”
Rosen said it was “unfortunate” that a group of former mayors wrote a letter to The Daily News about the current council’s open meeting practices without first bringing their concerns to him.
Council member Elizabeth Beeton said she did not believe Rosen’s comments were appropriately noted on the council’s agenda.
“If we’re going to use council comments to bring up substantive issues, those need to be listed. So that there’s notice of what the discussion is going to be about,” Beeton said.
City attorney Dorothy Palumbo said Rosen’s comments about executive sessions were justified because there is an executive session listed on the council’s agenda today.
The city council is scheduled to go into executive session later today to perform an annual evaluation of City Manager Michael Kovacs and to discuss the city auditor’s audit plan and risk analysis.
The city council's meeting is being streamed live here: