PROGRESO, TEXAS (ValleyCentral) — For decades, anyone who wanted to know what the Progreso Board of Aldermen planned to discuss had to check the bulletin board at City Hall.
If people didn’t check the bulletin board regularly, they remained in the dark — about the city budget, property taxes and anything else the Board of Aldermen discussed.
“How would you have known, aside from going to the building?” said state Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg. “There was no other way.”
Canales, though, is attempting to change that.
“Most people don’t understand or don’t know what’s going on at city council meetings,” Canales said.
It’s not because they aren’t interested, Canales said, it’s because they simply don’t know what’s going on.
Many people only find out about important local issues after a policy changes or an ordinance is passed. At that point, it’s too late for public input.
“And the reason they missed the opportunity was because they didn’t know it was happening,” Canales said.
The new law is designed to make local government meeting agendas more accessible.
“And it’s a good-faith effort. We’re not trying to create legislation that’s: ‘I gotcha,’” Canales said. “What we’re trying to do is foster a more transparent government across the board.”
Many small towns, however, apparently were not aware of the new law.
Edcouch City Manager Victor Hugo De La Cruz didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The city of Progreso was unaware of the new law, said Raul Garcia, a city clerk. Garcia said he would check on the situation and follow up with CBS 4 News on Tuesday.
La Villa City Administrator Tony Barco, who accepted the job on Oct. 2, said he didn’t know about the new law either.
After he spoke with CBS 4 News, the city of La Villa posted a meeting agenda online for the first time since December 2022.