After a summer of discussion regarding increasing standards for Pearland City Council members who seek to enter into deals with the city, council opted to add a layer of transparency.

City Council at its Aug. 22 meeting unanimously passed a resolution to create a City Council public disclosure website linked from the city's homepage and council member bio pages that will show several dealings members of council may have.

“I think it is a good measure,” Pearland Mayor Kevin Cole said. “Easy to find and good for people to go look up what is going on.”

Dealings that will be disclosed on the new site include all campaign finance reports required by state law; all conflicts or ethical disclosures required by state or local law; and a copy of awarded contracts for which a council member was required by local or state law to file a conflicts affidavit and abstain from participation in discussion of and any vote related to the contract, Pearland City Attorney Darrin Coker said.

The enhanced disclosures were first brought up by Council Member Adrian Hernandez at the July 11 meeting following the passing of the second reading of an ordinance that added two requirements to the city’s proceedings when a council member’s business, or one they have a substantial interest in, seeks to enter into a deal with the city.

The two requirements added to the state guidelines Pearland already followed at the July 11 meeting were that City Council needs to make an affirmative finding the contract is in the financial best interest of the city, and the contract needs to be approved by at least a three-fourths vote, with the conflicting member abstaining from voting.

Hernandez advocated for the webpage to add an extra layer of transparency for Pearland residents.

“A campaign finance report is public anyways,” Cole said. “Go ahead and put it out there; it doesn’t seem to bother any of us, so I think having that out there is good.”