Texas Watchdog, which announced a few weeks ago that it was looking into city ethics info that was supposed to be public but wasn't, has now posted Council financial disclosures (which are also required to be public, although there is no online requirement) to its website. Here is an excerpt from the group's press release:
Almost nothing has been written concerning this treasure trove of information about our city leaders. And little wonder. Although these documents are public, city officials choose not to put them online, and that makes this important information less available to voters, taxpayers and residents.
“These are public records, but city officials certainly don’t break a sweat making them easy to get,” says Trent Seibert, editor of Texas Watchdog. “They sit in a file and can be examined during business hours - but that’s when most folks are working. In a time when everyone has access to the Internet through the public library, this is downright silly.”
The law requires these documents to be public, but doesn’t say that they need to be placed online.
”We urge the city to put this information online, but in the meantime, we’ll do it so the folks at City Hall can see how easy it is,” Seibert said. “As the city makes important decisions about the budget, it’s important to see what financial interests the city council and the mayor have.”
This page has links to the disclosure info for the mayor and every member of council.
How's that little bit of civic journalism from the new guys in town?