As you may or may not know, Emma Acosta has put an item on tomorrow’s city council agenda asking for discussion and action limiting the release of open records under the Texas Public Information Act to individuals that have been convicted or pleaded guilty to crimes involving moral turpitude. We all know that this measure directly targets Jaime Abeytia.
Emma Acosta is utterly wrong for even contemplating this measure. It is even worse that she put it on the city’s agenda.
Whether you like Abeytia or dislike him, the fact remains that public information is not a commodity that can be parceled out or traded. It is a right afforded to everyone, citizens and non-citizens alike. (much the chagrin of some of you who hate my blog) As a right, no public official should be thinking, much less officially putting measures for public discussion that seeks to limit access to government records.
Many of us believe that Emma Acosta is posturing to run for mayor. Whether her attempt to limit access to public records is a way to ensure that unflattering information about her is kept from the public dialog, or simply because she dislikes Jaime Abeytia is immaterial because she is seeking to limit a fundamental right everyone has.
In recent months, more so the last few weeks, city council has been publicly debating how material ends up on the city council’s agenda. As a result, certain procedures have been implemented to forestall agenda items that are there for political purposes and items that expose city staff to undo burdens. City council has vacillated between allowing elected officials to post items without back up materials and having to wait two weeks before it appears on the agenda to allowing elected officials to post material to the agenda only hours before the agenda is officially posted.
With all of that agenda debate it boggles the mind about how Emma Acosta was allowed to have this item posted to the city’s official agenda.
I just spent the last week analyzing the Ross Fisher report tying it together with the public corruption that I believe El Paso is infested with. Much of what I write about centers on the secrecy in government that has allowed the corruption to remain unimpeded.
Now, the city has a public official asking for a measure to keep even more secrets.
This only happens on a corruption-infested city like El Paso.