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Texas Gulf Coast
832-632-2102
Austin
512-279-6431
Harlingen
956-421-4904
San Antonio
210-227-3243

Creative public financing may soon be more important than ever

There is likely not a county or municipal official in Texas unaware of the debate underway in Austin related to state efforts to cap local government entities' abilities to raise revenues they need to meet constituent demands. It's too early to say what the legislative outcome is going to be.

When the law leads to unintended consequences

Workers' compensation is not a mandated benefit in Texas. That is one of a few ways in which our state differs from others. At the same time, some employers, including many local municipalities and political subdivisions do carry some form of coverage. The Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool (TMLIRP) is one such provider.

A mass media glimpse into 1 city government's dynamics

It isn't often that the maneuverings within the halls of a city government make it into the mainstream media. When it does, it is perhaps worth taking time to examine the situation to see if there is something to learn that could help your community avoid unwanted, and some might say unnecessary scrutiny.

ADA compliance: An ever-changing challenge

Greek mythology tells the tale of Sisyphus; a man who, for eternity, must push a boulder up a hill. Before he ever reaches the top, the rock rolls back down. Today, the term Sisyphean sometimes describes what seems to be never-ending work. Many leaders in Texas local governments might apply it to the task of complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Every open records request has legal implications

Freedom of information is a foundational tenet of American democracy. The argument goes that transparency about government operations is critical for voters to exercise their electoral rights and responsibilities. At the federal level, the Freedom of Information Act requires agencies to reveal information upon request unless doing so might be detrimental to national interests.

There can be legal risk in adopting policy by ordinance

Words have power. Meanings of words are important. Definitions can vary, however, and that can create interesting legal tangles. As an example, recall the statement in 1998 by then-President Bill Clinton, "It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is."

Easing city growing pains can be challenging

Texas is big in terms of available land. It's also growing in terms of population. By various counts, the number of people moving into the state rises at a rate of around 1,000 to 1,400 per day. Recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that seven of the 15 fastest growing cities in the nation are in the Lone Star State. That means towns and cities of all sizes face varying degrees of pressure to meet rising demand for city amenities.

Government social media accounts must achieve impossible balance

Most government agencies have some form of social media accounts and are expected to communicate regularly with their local online audience. The norms of social media dictate posts should be entertaining, informative, genuine and provide transparency – all in real time. Often many employees are running one account and do so without an editor or a review process to approve posts.

Adopting social media communications requires legal diligence

Blaring sirens that alert the public to emergencies remain foundational in many communities for reaching the people about need-to-know news. Social media serves as an adjunct method for quick dissemination of information to large populations. But many cities appreciate that platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and even texting, provide options for communication beyond just emergency situations.

  • San Antonio Office map

    San Antonio Office
    2517 North Main Avenue
    San Antonio, TX 78212

    Phone: 210-227-3243
    Map & Directions

    Harlingen Office
    701 East Harrison
    Suite 100
    Harlingen, TX 78550

    Phone: 956-421-4904
    Harlingen Law Office Map

    Austin Office
    2500 W. William Cannon
    Suite 609
    Austin, TX 78745

    Phone: 512-279-6431
    Map & Directions

    League City Office
    549 N. Egret Bay Blvd.
    Suite 200
    League City, TX 77573

    Map & Directions

  • Austin Office map
  • Harlingen Office map