The Hill Country Community Journal reported yesterday that Baroody was dishonest when he claimed during a March 12 City Council meeting that, “That’s actually not at all what I gave to Mark (McDaniel) to put on the agenda…”The Journal obtained a copy of the email from Baroody to City Manager Mark McDaniel, and the request that Baroody made was reflected verbatim in the agenda topic that was posted for the March 12 meeting.
Baroody’s email stated:
I need to place an executive session item on the agenda for the upcoming March 12th council meeting. There is no staff input needed for this discussion.
The agenda item should be:
Executive Session Allowable under 551.071 consultation with attorney regarding pending or contemplated litigation.
Discussion concerning Kerrville City Council and the Texas Open Meetings Act.
I do not believe I need to or even want to make the agenda item more descriptive but for your understanding I will explain. I am placing this item to have Council review specific examples of the OMA with regards to Kerrville City Council. The justification for the 551.071 consultation is only to be discussing the potential for litigation if Council were to violate the OMA.
I do not wish for this item to be public discussion so as to keep it in house. And it is not my intention to cite anybody or any particular instance, however, if 551.071 is not deemed appropriate to take this discussion into executive session, then I would be forced to utilize/cite 551.974 Personnel Matters to take into executive session.
I am hopeful 551.071 is allowable because as I said, I am not interested in citing a particular person or instance, I feel very strongly that this item needs to be discussed though.
George(Email from Baroody to McDaniel, as obtained by the Hill Country Community Journal. EDITOR’S NOTE FROM MARCH 22: Email posted in its entirety. Emphasis added by editor.)
Later, the published agenda item read:
As you can see, the text of the agenda item is literally verbatim — exactly the same — as the language Baroody requested via email to McDaniel.
During that meeting, staff recommended that the council not enter executive session to discuss this topic, as it was not an honest description of what Baroody wanted to discuss. As City Attorney Mike Hayes explained, “Council can decide. My advice is to put it on another agenda, because I don’t think it captures exactly where you are going now… I also believe, well, I know, 551.071 contemplates consultation with attorney … whether I give you all legal advice or you provide information to me so that I can turn around give you legal advice. I don’t think that’s where you’re [Baroody] intending this discussion to go any more, so my recommendation to council as a whole is to have Mr. Baroody resubmit this and talk about kind of the broader scope that he wants to talk about.”
Baroody claimed he was being “shut down” by staff and council. But in reality, council and staff simply suggested Baroody be honest about what he would like to discuss so as NOT to violate the Open Meetings Act. Instead of “shutting down” the councilman, staff and council suggested that they add it to the next meeting’s agenda with the proper language. Baroody was not shut down.
View this portion of the March 12 meeting below. The video is queued up to begin at 1:16:17. If it doesn’t queue up properly for you, please fast-forward to that timestamp.