(17) comments Back to story

Charlotte O'rourke

Well I can’t say I’m surprised. Why follow the charter? After all, one only takes an oath to uphold the charter and Texas laws:

Section 4. Malfeasance in Office. Any member of the Council or elected or appointed officer or employee of the City who shall willfully violate any provision of this Charter shall be guilty of misconduct in office and shall be subject to review by the Ethics Commission.

The questions should not be - why rush to change it to the city depository, but why the heck was jt changed in the first place and who changed it WITHOUT a vote? And what opportunities have the residents lost from the Park Board inappropriately holding millions of city hot dollars - Juneteenth opportunities, Pier 19 charter area, Ashton Villa west end beaches, and historic properties could qualify.

I do agree with the need for better communication, but it’s not as important as upholding the charter which was a vote of the people.

PAUL WASSERLOOS

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Charlotte O'rourke

Congratulation to David Collins and William SCHUSTER, the city attorney and staff for identifying the issue, stating it was an oversight, and trying to correct the problem. You are true leaders and should get the ethics award.

PAUL WASSERLOOS

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Lisa Blair

Those who voted to defer are failing in their fiduciary duty to citizens. What about the legal principle of INTENT. When you didn’t know, OK. But now you do and you’re on record violating the law and the charter. This will be a defining issue in the next election. As the City budget gets tighter and tighter, citizens will demand more responsible government and more principled leadership. We’re watching.

PAUL WASSERLOOS

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Emilio Nicolas

Where was the City Attorney in all of this???

Ann Hobing

I think before people start pointing fingers one should ask what “state laws” were violated by the Park Board? There are three sides to every story, it will be interesting to see how this all unfolds. Mr. Collins how many terms did you do with the Park Board, NOW there’s an issue with where the money is going? 🤔 Has it not been the same governing body for many years? Again I say, there’s more to this story than what is really being told.

Emilio Nicolas

Excellent question! I do hope Mr. Collins responds. I also want to know what the City Attorney has to say on the issue! I find it irresponsible to ask for a vote of the citizenry without the opinion of our paid legal staff. The Parks Board is one of the few well run organizations on the island and having a vote to turn the funds over to the worst run organization on the island (City Council) without the legal opinion of its attorney is highly irresponsible and should raise the issue of motives.

Donald Glywasky

I have written a number of memoranda on these topics.

Emilio Nicolas

Please share your opinion with us. Thanks.

Lisa Blair

I’m not sure where you’ve been Emilio but this entire issue revolves around the City Attorney’s legal opinion. Numerous articles in the GCDN have been written and Council meetings are available on video that explain in great detail his opinion and the underlying issues. It’s always a good idea to do your homework before making accusations.

Emilio Nicolas

So sorry! I must devote more time to researching this auspicious publication! Thanks.

Valerie Beverly

Comment above is mine. It got posted somehow under wrong account.

Rusty Schroeder

"somehow" ? Maybe we should have an investigation to find out how that happened. My guess is you signed in under Don's name and made the post, usually how it happens.

Bill Broussard

From the Texas hot tax two step: “ Cities frequently wonder if they can fund the local chamber of commerce using hotel tax money. Do chambers put heads in beds? Maybe, maybe not. Chambers of commerce are typically charged with promoting economic development, not tourism. Even assuming a chamber does promote tourism though, how about the nine categories? Funding a chamber doesn’t, in itself, fall into any of the nine categories.

Fortunately, there is an easy solution. The laws governing hotel tax expenditures permit the city to delegate expenditure of hotel tax money to another entity, typically a chamber or convention and visitor bureau. As long as the chamber spends the money on projects that otherwise meet the two-part test mentioned above, it’s fine to delegate some funds to them. There must be a written contract laying out the duties of the chamber, though. Also, the chamber must keep the hotel funds in an account separate from its operating funds”

Charlotte O'rourke

In case anyone doubts that the city approved the Park Board budget or the money was in city depositories . One needs only to look at the history and records. GDN article from 2007. To change the process of deposits and budget approvals after decades without a city council vote is a major government transparency issue and potential legal issue. The below comment was a fight over Mardi Gras. Many such battles over budget approvals have occurred over the years.

"To me, the place at which council should be stepping in and dealing with this board

is either in not approving a budget we send over, which they have the right to do, or if

they don't approve of the way the volunteers are conducting business, then step in

and don't reappoint us," she said.

At this time as a regular citizen, I don’t approve of violations of the open meetings act, changing the depository, or failing to approve the budget. Stop it. There is no defense. Just fix it!

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