Here’s something the Galveston Housing Authority Board should resolve at its meeting Monday.
City Councilman Tarris Woods, the council’s ex officio appointment to the housing authority board, contends he should be allowed to attend executive sessions.
Since Carla Cotropia has been the housing authority’s attorney, she has not allowed the council representative on the housing authority board to attend executive sessions.
Her rationale is that Texas Local Government Code Section 392.031(b) states that a commissioner of the housing authority can’t be an officer of the municipality, such as a council member.
Woods, as a council member, can’t be a commissioner, and only commissioners are allowed to attend executive sessions.
However, the city attorney, Dorothy Palumbo, issued an opinion Aug. 12 that said Woods should be allowed to attend closed sessions when the city’s interests are aligned with the housing authority’s.
When the city’s and housing authority’s interest are adverse, he should not.
It’s a position that former City Attorney Susie Green outlined in 2001 when Booker Price was on the council.
Woods has two legal opinions from two city attorneys. It doesn’t take much of a crystal ball to suggest that it’s going to get awkward if he’s asked to leave.