Bastrop Mayor Ken Kesselus is trampling on open government and he seems to be getting help from some members of the Bastrop City Council.
I learned this last night by attending a hastily called “emergency meeting” by Kesselus. What was the emergency? Here’s what was posted the city’s website. Note the “no live streaming or recording”.
Just as the meeting started, I asked why an opportunity for public comments was not on the agenda and the cameras were turned off – only to be ignored by the Mayor. Almost simultaneously, attorney Glenn Johnson stood up and announced he was representing the City Attorney JC Brown. The Mayor tried to silence him but he just kept talking. Soon Kesselus backed down.
Apparently, City Attorney Brown had been told by Kesselus not to show up at the
Executive Session of the new council to discuss just what — you couldn’t glean the subject from this agenda posting. Mr. Johnson was calling the Mayor on this, stating their posting was in violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act and they could be fined $500 and even be forced to forfeit their council seats.
Kesselus clumsily pivoted suggesting that they would just discuss how to “transition” City Manager Mike Talbot’s work in line with his resignation on September 1st. Clearly this was not the subject Kesselus had in mind.
After the Executive Session they came out and passed a resolution giving the Mayor their approval to discuss the transition with the City Manager. If you were a fly on the wall at this meeting, you might see the bullying tactics of which Talbot has had enough. No city manager would put up with this interfering clown.
On the way out I spoke with a number of residents in attendance whose homes have been flooded and the city has yet to deal with their very real problems. They are the brunt of this growing dysfunction in the city of Bastrop.
Rumors abound, including that when Talbot leaves, you will see Joe Beal as an interim city manager. Joe Beal, water raider and End Op cohort, running the city of Bastrop? They wouldn’t go that far, would they?
Last week Councilmember Gary Schiff spoke about wanting to put a measure on the next city ballot in November to bust term limits. You guessed it. Kesselus is term limited in May 2017.
We here at Independent Texans made a mistake not simply telling you the dangers involved in the last city election. We won’t make that mistake again.
If the Mayor and his sidekicks keep on, you never know what citizens who have had enough will do. In Texas, voters do have the right to recall city elected officials.
I support the right to recall. Do you?
Linda Curtis, Independent Texans