The Daily News contends the La Marque school board broke the law by taking a vote then refusing to tell people what the vote was about.
School officials gave the paper a hint that the vote had something to do with an item, posted on the school board’s agenda, about litigation over a dispute over electricity. But school officials wouldn’t confirm that. They would only hint.
The Texas Open Meetings Act requires a lot more.
Section 551.102 of the Texas Open Meetings Act says that the school board has to vote in open session and that, whatever action the board takes, it has to be described in at least the terms that are acceptable as a public notice.
All local governments, including school boards, have to post notices of their meetings. The courts have ruled that agenda items can be more or less specific. The greater the public interest, the more specific they have to be.
Bottom line, no local government in Texas can take an action without letting you know about it.
In the case of the La Marque school board, the public should hope that this vote was not important. If the vote was important, the school board should do it over again — and this time according to law.
Because, as the Texas Attorney General’s Handbook on the law points out, Section 551.141 provides that an “action taken by a governmental body in violation of this chapter is voidable.”
There’s one sure thing about that vote — whatever it was about — it won’t stand up in court.