The city of Grapevine has come under fire for hiring lobbyist Fred Hill and now they’re stoking the flame. Last month the city conducted contract negotiations behind closed doors, disregarding the Texas Open Meetings Act. The city is compounding its sins by creating bigger and an ethically corrupt government position.
After the initial infraction of holding a secret meeting The Fort Worth Star Telegram sued Grapevine to acquire the minutes. In response the city has created an “office of city lobbyist.” That’s right, instead of being transparent and disclosing public business Mayor William D. Tate, the city council and Texas Municipal League (TML) are scrambling to cover their tracks.
Mayor Tate claims he doesn’t know why the meeting was held behind closed doors. This is either deception or ignorance on his part, I’m not sure which is worse. After claiming ignorance Tate defends his position invoking the name and council of TML, a league governments closely resembling a union used to bully. The official position of Tate and TML is they are in the right and the public has no right to know about the meeting that lead to Hills being hired or any future talks with the lobbyist.
For those not familiar with former state Rep. Fred Hill, he runs a new group that operates under the pretense of lobbying for local interests. His interests include higher taxes, and discouraging prudent budgeting practices like capping revenue. Grapevine and other cities are paying for lobbyists that lobby for continued fiscal recklessness.
Currently millions in tax dollars are being used to lobby against the interests of taxpayers and for the interests of elected officials like Mayor Tate, TML and bureaucrats of big government. It’s time to turn up the heat.