Monday, May 20, 2024

County adopts new statement regarding closed sessions


The Hood County Commissioners Court unanimously adopted a new statement regarding closed sessions during a regularly scheduled meeting March 26.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Nannette Samuelson explained that each year, the Texas Association of Counties updates its documentation.

The TAC is the representative voice for all Texas counties and county officials, according to its website.

Samuelson said in a publication called “TAC Public Open Meetings Act,” the organization recently updated the wording regarding closed sessions.

The new statement — found on page 32, appendix B of the TAC publication Open Meetings Act — reads as follows:

“Pursuant to the authority granted under Government Code, Chap. 551, the commissioners court may convene a closed session to discuss any of the above agenda items. Immediately before any closed session, the specific section or sections of Government Code, Chap. 551 that provides statutory authority will be announced.”

This statement will replace the current one provided on the bottom of the commissioners court agenda, which reads:

“Hood County Reserves the right to adjourn into Executive Session at any time during the course of this meeting to discuss any of the matters listed, as authorized by the Texas Government Code, §551.071 (Consultation with Attorney), subsection 551.071(2) (Consultation with Attorney on legal matters that are not related to litigation), §551.072 (Deliberations about Real Property), §551.073 (Deliberations about Gifts and Donations, §551.074 (Personnel Matters), §551.076 (Deliberations about Security Devices), and §551.087 (Economic Development).”

“This is just updating our commissioners court agenda as being — really, it’s not compliant because this is a suggestion — but they (TAC) are the authority that gives us guidance on a lot of things that we do in commissioners court,” Samuelson said.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Dave Eagle said he agreed with Samuelson’s recommendation.

"This is an open-ended language,” he said. “And then the only requirement after that is if we have to convene into an executive session that we identify which section of the code that we're going in there for so it really just kind of simplifies it, in my opinion, so I certainly agree with this.”

Samuelson then made a motion to adopt the TAC’s recommended statement on closed meetings. The motion passed unanimously.