Citing water conference fee, group claims state open meeting violation

  • January 23, 2017
  • News

The Texas Water Development Board, a state agency that plays a key role in financing reservoirs, pipelines and conservation projects, wants anyone with an interest in water planning to attend its Water for Texas conference in Austin this week.

The registration fee for the public: $525.

That cost has led a government watchdog group to cry foul, saying the fee amount locks out members of the public and amounts to a violation of state open meetings laws.

In a letter Sunday to members of the Texas Water Development Board, attorney Bill Aleshire wrote on behalf of the League of Independent Voters of Texas that the conference constitutes a meeting because it is related to the business of the agency and will include members of the commission that oversee it. He said the meeting was not properly posted and “is not ‘open’ to the public because the public must pay to get in, but is an ‘exclusive opportunity’ for persons selected by TWDB to influence and converse with the board members.” Read more from MyStatesman.com