GOLIAD – Because official notice was not posted in a location outside the Goliad County Courthouse to comply with Texas Open Meeting Act requirements, a public budget hearing that had been scheduled for Aug. 3 had to be postponed.

In order to comply with state law as codified in Chapter 551 of the Texas Government Code, government agencies must post notice of budget hearings on their official website and/or social media websites (a requirement which was made official as of Jan. 1, 2020) and also in the local newspaper of record at least 72 hours before the meeting, as well as in a designated location at the building of that agency — in this case the Goliad County Courthouse.

County Judge Mike Bennett said that although notice of the meeting was posted online and in the newspaper, it had not been posted in the designated spot at the courthouse.

The commissioners were scheduled to have their regular meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 10, but Bennett said the public budget hearing would be held on Aug. 17.

As detailed on the Texas Association of Counties website at county.org: “The Open Meetings Act requires written notice of all meetings. As a practical matter, many counties post the commissioners court agenda as ‘notice’ of the meeting. The notice must include the date, hour, place and subject of the meeting. The notice must be sufficient to apprise the general public of the subjects to be considered during the meeting. The notice must be more specific if the public has a special interest in the topic under discussion. ... "

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Jeff Osborne is an editor for Coastal Bend Publishing. He can be reached at 361-645-2330 or josborne@mysoutex.com.

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