Friday, November 7, 2008

No Response to Letter of Remonstrance

Exercising constitutional provisions in Texas, WPC Publisher forwarded a letter of remonstrance to the City Council on October 31, asking for some reply before the November 6 City Council Meeting (prior to publication).
Click Here to Read the Letter of Remonstrance addressed to the Wilmer City Council.

WPC congratulated the city on the quality and intention behind the full color publication of Wilmer News Volume 1 Issue 1.

We also pointed out that the newsletter failed to meet guidelines recently published on the Texas Municipal League web site. Publicity and Advertising Newsletters have statutory budgetary restrictions as well as a requirement to present the budget item for voters approval. WPC pointed out that the current year budget line item 116715 explicitly for publication of a city newsletter had a budget of $0.00.

Additionally, the newsletter effectively announced a new web site for the City of Wilmer ("") via the publication of links to email addresses that do not currently exist. Public web sites sponsored by governing bodies have many statutory provisions sprinkled throughout the Texas Codes, including the Tax Code, the Open Meetings Act and the Public Records Act to mention a few. In response to our Public Information Act request for information on the registrant of the web site and service contracts, the City responded that no email or web site addresses were available to the public and that no contract had been awarded to the registrant for creation of the web site. Mayor Pro Tem Matias Leal stated in a brief conversation that the web site services had been promised as a donation to the city but had subsequently been withdrawn.
Click Here to View Our Public Information Request - or - Click Here to View the Response from the City of Wilmer

The newsletter content was separately objected to in writing to the city attorney's office due to the article from Mayor Pro Tem Matias Leal not conforming to new ethics restrictions prohibiting "promotional" materials published at public expense. In publicly funded newsletters, politicians are prohibited from referring to themselves more than 8 times per page, advocating any position on a ballot measure, and avoiding promotional language. Mr. Leal's statement contained eight references specifically included in the statute, plus three additional references which may fall under language prohibitions and finally, used a direct quote of the election slogan used by the Hudson-Leal-Lang-Hagen(Dyess) group in the May election. Click Here to View our summary reference analysis forwarded to the City Attorney.

1 comment:

The Associate Moderator said...

Once again, thanks for the information you bring us Joe. It is good to have you back at full or near full steam. I hope you continue to prosper. Great stories and work being done for the citizens of Wilmer!!