Garza wants to hide police contract

And Austin gets lipstick for its I-35 pig.

Garza wants to hide police contract
People working at Springdale General.

Police oversight advocates say that Interim City Manager Jesús Garza is seeking to rush a new police contract through City Council that will subvert an oversight ordinance that was overwhelmingly approved by Austin voters last year.

In a sharp departure from previous practice, the city will not provide the public with drafts of the police contract, which it will begin negotiations on tomorrow.

The city press release announcing the negotiations yesterday states the following:

The meetings will also follow state law Texas Local Government Code Section 143.305 which states that the agreement and any documents prepared and used in connection with the agreement are available to the public only after the agreement is ratified by the City Council.  

Kathy Mitchell, a policy adviser for Equity Action, which is currently suing the city over its refusal to implement certain portions of the oversight ordinance, says that state law only states that records related to the negotiation are not subject to an open records request. The law does not require them to be confidential, as the city appears to be arguing now.

This is not how past negotiations have gone.