bloggin' all things brownsville

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Update on Charter Review Committee

I am a member of the Charter Review Committee. Our first meeting was held July 29 after it had to be rescheduled due to Hurricane Dolly.

Fortunately, the committee made no decisions at this meeting, because we later discovered that the meeting's agenda was not posted as required by the Texas Open Meetings Act. Only the initial canceled meeting's agenda had been posted.

Our next meeting date was to be Wednesday, but we received notification Monday that it was canceled. No future meeting date has been set.

Although we started off on the wrong foot, I remain honored to be a member of the Charter Review Committee. The city charter is the framework for our city government.

Certainly, we don’t want, at least I don’t, to revamp all the hard work our forefathers put into this very important document. But changes are necessary to reflect the times.

On July 29, we were not provided a copy of the charter -- fortunately, I took my own copy, which is available online. Instead, we were provided a copy of previously recommended changes to the charter. Perhaps our City Attorney wanted to provide us with a starting point. Still, I do not wish to serve the role of rubber stamp, and we were assured that the committee could address any part of the charter we wished to.

We did not elect officers at our first meeting, but I e-mailed the City Secretary suggested agenda items, including the election of officers and developing a timeline for reviewing the charter’s many articles as it correlates to our meeting schedule. I also find it necessary to solicit more interest from the community the duration of this process. We should encourage public input via public forums/hearings. I know public hearings are required, but those generally come after the amendments are already drafted.

My proposed agenda items for the next meeting are:

1. Discussion and action on selecting a Chairman of the Charter Review Committee.
2. Discussion and action on selecting a Vice-chairman of the Charter Review Commitee.
3. Discussion and action on selecting a Secretary. (if minutes are being taken by the City Secretary, then this item isn't necessary.)
4. Discussion and action on process and/or schedule for addressing articles of the Charter as correlates to the committee's meeting schedule.
5. Discussion and action on holding public forum(s) to solicit community input.

I will also be suggesting that a Charter Review Committee Web site is created so to keep the community abreast of our progress. If maintenance and/or creation of the site is an issue, I have no problem volunteering to do so.

We also need to do a better job of conveying what Brownsville residents will eventually be voting on. Otherwise, ambiguity will defeat this committee’s purpose and all our hard work, and that of those who were civically engaged in the process, would have been for naught.

With our first official meeting yet to take place, there's still plenty of time to put all our ideas on the table. I look forward to working with some great minds, and I know we'll put our best efforts forward. I encourage folks to e-mail me with questions or comments at, and I will gladly share them with the committee.

I know there is plenty of talk already about our committee's supposed intent to push the charter amendments that were previously rejected. For the record, our committee really hasn't had the opportunity to discuss them, or any part of the charter, for that matter.

Also, all meetings are being recorded by Blogger Chris Davis of The first meeting, albeit, illegal, is online, too. I encourage everyone to watch them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone needs to keep their finger on the pulse of this committee and I feel so much better knowing that it's you.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008  
Anonymous Stan said...

Writing an agenda, calling for public input--perhaps you should be chair for this committee, eh?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if the public could vote on who was going to be the committee chair, you would have my vote!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008  
Blogger Melissa Zamora said...

Thank you. I only suggested that a chair and vice-chair were needed, because the meeting should be run by the committee members and not the City Attorney or Interim Assistant City Manager.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I literaly was about to email you to ask if I could submit some questions and suggestions for the committee. I'm glad I refreshed BATB before I did.

I'm making my list and checking it twice.

Also, it's important the committee presses the city attorney to get a schedule going. Canceling is not only a problem with having to repost agendas, but, as it is, the timeline given at the first meeting doesn't seem enough for real in-depth discussion.

Patricia A.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great agenda items you suggest. However, I imagine one of the lawyers on board who is also a contract attorney for COB, is probably not too thrilled about your suggestions and early showing of strong leadership. Others on that committee who want and are willing to be a puppet are probably not so thrilled about your suggestions and ideas either. In other words, they want to run the show, and every one else should arrive and go along. I hope I am wrong, but good luck and preserve the City Charter of Brownsville, Texas.

Robert "Captain Bob" Sanchez

Wednesday, August 13, 2008  
Blogger Chris Davis said...

"...I imagine one of the lawyers on board who is also a contract attorney for COB, is probably not too thrilled about your suggestions."

And you imagine this how?

Did your spanking 3 years ago at Sossi's hand knock some clairvoyance into you?

Give us a break, Cap'n.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I still have the same admirerer. How sweet. A special interest puppet who is doing leg work for Uncle with website. What a turn off of a puppet you are.

Robert "Captain Bob" Sanchez

Wednesday, August 13, 2008  
Blogger Mr. Shrimp said...

Oxygen mentioned to me that Davis should be called a gnat. He is bothersome and will get smashed some day soon. For his rehtorick is being said to be main reason his father-in-law is under microscope these days. What a shame!!!!!!!!!!!

Robert "Captain Bob" Sanchez

Wednesday, August 13, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oxygen calling Davis a gnat? Now that's calling the kettle black. What a joke.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm out of the area, who is Davis' father in law?

Thursday, August 14, 2008  

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