Lack of Transparency in City Council Sanctuary Lawsuit Decision Blasted

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Last week's top secret City Council meeting that resulted in the City joining in a lawsuit against the state's new law banning'Sanctuary Cities' is being blasted for its lack of transparency and accountability, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Councilman Joe Krier, who is the only attorney on City Council, told the San Antonio Charter Commission last night that when it makes its recommendations for new city laws, one needs to prevent that sort of back door maneuvering from taking place.

"Any time the city of San Antonio sues another governmental entity we have to have a publicly posted, publicly taken City Council vote," Krier told the Commission.

City Council posts even the most mundane items to be considered at regular meetings. For example, items posted for today's Council meeting include vacating less than a block of a west side alley, allowing certain businesses top lease space at La Villita, and spending $100,000 to buy audio visual equipment for the Fire Department.

But last week, when City Council decided to file the first lawsuit against the state in its history, Council retreated behind closed doors, and, Krier says, didn't even take a record vote on whether to join in the lawsuit filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

This despite the fact that the lawsuit is highly controversial, could cost taxpayers millions of dollars, and could result in state funding being yanked from next year's City budget.

"We should not be making decisions of that kind in private secret session without media there," he said

.Krier pointed out that when Bexar County Commissioners earlier this week took the exact same action, voting to sue the state over the Sanctuary City law, the decision was made in a public record vote, in open session, on an item that had been posted, and following comment from the public and from members of Commissioners Court.

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