Hutto city manager, Economic Development Corp. members now to complete financial disclosures

UPDATED: Oct. 25, 3:40 p.m.

Hutto City Council unanimously approved and formalized an updated version of its financial disclosures ordinance at its Oct. 24 meeting, amending the language of the ordinance to also include Hutto's city attorneys and specify which local government officers' dependents must be listed.

The item was revisited by council at its Oct. 24 meeting, given that official execution of the ordinance requires two readings.

"In order to effectuate the actual disclosure, you need to, pursuant to the charter, have two readings," City Manager Odis Jones said.

Pursuant to the Texas Local Municipal League's Government Code Chapter 145, which outlines financial disclosures and standards of conduct for local government officers, the updated ordinance language would require financial disclosures for government officers in addition to "the individual’s spouse and dependent children, if the individual had control over that activity," per TML.

Examples of required financial disclosures for dependent children include if a local government officer has a trust or LLC in their dependent's name, or their dependent has a credit card that is an extension of their parent's line of credit, or if their parent was a cosigner on the dependent's checking account.

Chapter 145's language on financial disclosure statements is mandated on cities with populations greater than 100,000, but Council Member Mike Snyder said that that should not preclude Hutto from applying its practices to the city's own ordinance.

“We’ve got big time development coming," Snyder said, "we can act like big time people in my mind.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Oct. 18, 11:56 a.m.

Hutto City Council has updated its financial disclosures ordinance for city personnel, board and commission members, following a request by Council Member Mike Snyder to revisit the provisions.

The council voted 5-1 in favor of the amended financial disclosure ordinance at its Oct. 17 meeting, which would require council members, board and commission members, the mayor, Economic Development Corp. members and its coordinator along with the city manager and their staff to complete the disclosure form.

Council Member Patti Martinez was not present at the meeting, and Mayor Pro-Tem Tom Hines voted against the motion. Hines said all city personnel that make financial decisions are already required by state law to disclose conflict of interests and recuse themselves from related discussions.

Hutto's city charter requires all city officials to complete financial disclosure forms, with officials defined as council members and the mayor. The original ordinance, prior to its Oct. 17 amendment, defined city officials as the council, mayor, board and commission members.

Council confirmed that the legislative body is unable to change the city's charter, adding that it must go before citizens to vote on its amendment. Council retains the ability to update the ordinance's language.

The addition to the EDC, city manager and their staff, Snyder said, is important given that they have "a pretty big hand" in negotiating economic development deals for the city. Snyder added that anyone approving dollars spent by the city should be included in the financial disclosure requirements.

“What we as a council are able to do, we can’t change the charter but we can change ordinances," Snyder said. "This isn’t about trust. It’s about transparency and putting ourselves forward to the public.”


MOST RECENT

Wag-A-Bag is headquartered in Round Rock. (Megan Cardona/Community Impact Newspaper)
Wag-A-Bag to operate under new ownership, name; Austin, TxDOT at odds over I-35 overhaul; and more top Central Texas news

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Austin area.

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Federal funding is set aside for public schools to address effects of the pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Why Texas has not yet distributed $18 billion in federal funds intended for public schools

As budget decisions loom for school districts across Texas, state leaders are holding on to federal funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The temporary waiver covering initial vehicle registration, vehicle registration renewal, vehicle titling, renewal of permanent disabled parking placards and 30-day temporary permits will end April 14. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
Officials: No grace period to follow end of statewide waiver for vehicle title, registration requirements

Officials with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles announced April 5 there will be no grace period following the end of the temporary waiver of certain vehicle title and registration requirements this month.

The new tool will give Texans one place to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine through multiple health departments, including the eight DSHS public health regions—which provides public health services to nearly 200 Texas counties—as well as more than a dozen local health entities statewide. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Department of State Health Services launches Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler

The new tool will give Texans one place to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine through multiple health departments, including the eight DSHS public health regions—which provides public health services to nearly 200 Texas counties—as well as more than a dozen local health entities statewide.

Residents wait to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at the Delco Activity Center in Northeast Austin on March 13. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
More than 74,000 vaccine first doses coming to Austin-area providers in next week

The total allocation is fewer than the area received last week from the state.

The Centers for Disease Control released new guidance on in-person instruction for K-12 grade schools on March 19. (Courtesy Pexels)
CDC loosens guidelines on social distancing in schools

The updated guidance recommends students maintain 3 feet of social distancing in classrooms while wearing masks.

Rice Stadium Vaccine Site
Texas vaccine rollout: After 90 days, over 2.9 million fully inoculated

That figure represents about 13% of Texans over age 16—roughly one of every seven.

Three weeks after the the state's power grid failed leaving millions of Texans without power amid freezing temperatures, the Public Utility Commission of Texas named Adrianne Brandt as the agency's new director of ERCOT accountability in a news release March 11. (Courtesy Public Utility Commission of Texas)
Public Utility Commission of Texas names new director of ERCOT accountability

Three weeks after the the state's power grid failed leaving millions of Texans without power amid freezing temperatures, the Public Utility Commission of Texas named Adrianne Brandt as the agency's new director of ERCOT accountability in a news release March 11.

Lawmakers have returned to the Capitol for the 87th Texas Legislature. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Proposed curriculum, funding changes: 14 public education bills filed in the 87th Texas Legislature

Hundreds of bills related to public education have been filed in the 87th Texas Legislature, from curriculum requirement additions to funding formula changes.

According to a March 4 news release, the updated guidance includes a face covering requirement for employees and encourages guests to wear a face covering when they are not seated at their table. The updated guidance also maintains key safety protocols like regular cleaning and disinfecting, hand-sanitizing stations, and employee and customer health screenings. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
SURVEY: More than 70% of Texas restaurants still requiring employees to wear masks despite statewide mandate lift

The majority of Texas restaurant owners will choose to continue requiring staff to wear face masks after March 10 when Gov. Greg Abbott's statewide mask mandate lifts, according to the results of an informal survey conducted by the Texas Restaurant Association in early March.