A proposal to give Houston City Council the ability to meet behind closed doors is dead.
What a mayor’s spokeswoman called a “lack of consensus” was manifest in a committee meeting last week during which several council members criticized the idea as bad policy and bad timing.
Mayor Annise Parker’s agenda for Wednesday’s council meeting seeks approval to put the two charter housekeeping amendments and the five bond measures on the November ballot. The closed-session proposal was not on the agenda.
Mayoral spokeswoman Janice Evans wrote in an email that Parker had no pre-conceived opinion on closed sessions.
“She is able to see all of the arguments both for and against. Given the lack of consensus on Council, she decided not to move forward,” Evans wrote.
That’s clearly the right call. If there really is a need for this – if there’s an example or two of something that was discussed in an open Council session that would have been better off being discussed behind closed doors – then bring it up and let’s debate the merits with full information, and maybe consider a referendum in the future. Otherwise, let’s join hands and get the bonds and cleanup amendments passed. Stace, who has the bond items detailed, has more.