Texas Gulf Coast
San Antonio

Is social media a tool or trouble for your campaign?

Part of a solid campaign strategy involves reaching your constituents where they are. Depending on the people in your area, you may be able to reach people through rallies and door-knocking events, but you may find yourself with a very limited reach.

For better or worse, social media is now part of the everyday life of most Texans. It can be a way to make new connections, but there is also potential for public blunders.

How much does it cost to stay out of jail?

The criminal justice system works to hold people accountable for their illegal activities. Given the constitutional rights of Americans, someone who allegedly broke the law must be found guilty to serve the consequences determined by the court handling their case. However, not every judge determines sentencing reasonably and fairly, which can lead to disparity within the system.

Recent legislation in Harris County, Texas, sheds light on some of the potential problems within the nation’s third-largest system. Class-action lawsuits filed against the county may help reform the true meaning of justice for those incarcerated because of their financial constraints.

First responders now include 911 dispatchers in Texas

Being a first responder is a big job. In an instant, there are people counting on you to help them get emergency care that may, ultimately, save their life.

While 911 dispatchers provide an important service to the people of Texas, they were not considered first responders until recently. Earlier this year, a new law went into effect recognizing 911 dispatchers as first responders.

Another reason not to sleep on the job

There are numerous rules and regulations with which government workers must comply. Some of these rules are obvious and widely understood. Others are more obscure, even for employers and employees who seem to eat, sleep and breathe government work. 

But no matter how insignificant or unusual a rule may seem, it is important to follow it. For instance, government workers should know that certain activities are prohibited in federal government buildings. This includes sleeping.

Social media use and public sector employees

Every day, it seems as if there is a new political, cultural, generational or regional controversy. Whatever the disagreement might be, people may have strong feelings about it and want to share those feelings with others.

Today, it is easier than ever for people to express themselves and their beliefs, thanks to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. However, using these platforms to share opinions or disseminate information can create problems, particularly for public sector employees.

Challenges of managing ethics compliance

In a perfect world, every government worker would know and follow the rules of conduct. There would be no financing violations or conflicts of interest, and there would be little need for elaborate compliance systems.

However, the fact is that violations do occur. The standards can be confusing, and people do not always understand or follow the rules. This means that ensuring compliance with ethics standards remains a critical task. Unfortunately, it is not an easy one.

Texas voter registration

Campaigning for public office is a long and expensive process. In addition to trying to create a platform that fits your constituency, it takes hours of talking to people and refining your marketing to make sure your message gets in the right hands.

Whether you are running for election or you are supporting someone’s campaign, your constituents need to vote on election day. With the election around the corner, you want to make sure you are having conversations with people who will be able to help your cause.

Can an internet broadcast count as an “open meeting”?

In today’s world, going to work can include sitting in a café on the other side of town, or joining a meeting while on the other side of the world. What was once a luxury has become common in more industries and offices.

While you may be able to do some of your work remotely, there are certain aspects of the job that require your physical presence. When it comes to the Texas Open Meetings Act, there are rules about who needs to be there.

Getting ready for November

There are not a lot of open seats open for election in November, but that does not mean that it is not a critical time for Texas elections. There are several positions all over Texas that are essential for this election-cycle and the future.

For those running for office, the year before a Presidential election can be difficult. While many constituents may be thinking about politics, most of their election-thoughts are focused on next year.

Disclose or be deposed

As a government official, you have such a high level of responsibility that part of your life becomes public record. Many people automatically think this only applies to higher profile individuals like mayors and senators, who have public Facebook pages and might merit a local news feature if, say, they go through a messy divorce.

But we’re talking about other officials and employees here, maybe even you. The government keeps records of many aspects of its employees’ lives, specifically financial records. This is to verify that, for example, city judges aren’t accepting bribes of any kind to sway their verdicts. You may feel this infringes on your privacy; however, it is the price you pay to be a public servant.

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