Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Questions for is a Richardson-based website with a lofty goal: "countering a pernicious side effect of the Internet -- the creation and mass distribution of statements that have little or no basis in fact." has done a creditable job of fulfilling its mission. Building on that reactive mission, it now is expanding its mission with a more proactive purpose as well:
While RumorCheck got its start in examining and usually refuting the groundless rumors that swirl around, over time, we have seen the need for other types of content here on the RumorCheck website. Some time ago, we added an "Editorial" section for more editorial content that was perhaps not based on any single rumor.

Now RumorCheck is adding what we think will prove to be its most exciting feature: a Question & Answer (Q & A) section in which we will answer general purpose questions about how local government works.
After the jump, a question that has been nagging at me for a long time.

My question: How are the agendas for Richardson City Council meetings set?

And, if I may, I have a bunch of follow-ups. Or, in other words, I won't be satisfied with an answer that doesn't answer all of these questions, too.

  • Who types up the agenda?
  • Who does he or she take inputs from?
  • Who all reviews the draft agenda?
  • Who has final approval?
  • How are disputes about the agenda decided?
  • Where is any of this process written down?
  • How can council members participate in setting the agenda of their own meetings without violating the Texas Open Meetings Act?
  • And if council members don't collaborate on the agenda for their own meeting, why not?

I don't know the answers to any of these questions. I'm counting on to shed some light on these workings of city government.


Nathan Morgan said...


Hopefully, Willy will post some accurate answers to your questions. I'll be interested to see how adrift from my earlier observations his rendition will be this time.

As far as your "credible job" comment, I'd say he has lived up to his own credibility. That being marginal by my account.

mccalpin said...

Mark, the following is an “unaudited” set of answers…that is, I believe them to be true, but have not had a chance to verify them all, as you can imagine…

1. “Who types up the agenda?” If by this you mean, “Who drafts the agenda?”, I believe it is the City Manager’s office.
2. “Who does he or she take inputs from?” The primary input to the agenda is a large calendar that the City Manager’s office maintains on items that must be discussed and/or decided on throughout the course of the year. For example, since the new fiscal year starts October 1st, the City schedules the budget retreats in July, in order to have time for the multiple meetings to describe the proposed budget to the Council and public, take feedback from Council and public, make changes as needed, have some public hearings, and present a final version for the Council to vote on in mid-September. Ditto with a number of briefings that the staff is required to present to the Council during the course of the year such as an annual briefing on various items. In the last few weeks, the Council has been briefed
• on the three Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts,
• on the Citywide Radio Project (increasing towers from 1 to 4, updating all radios, and generally making police and fire more effective),
• on the Annual Investment Policy Review,
• on the annual Year End Financial Report,
• on the annual recommendation on arts grants funding from the Arts Commission, and so on.
If you think about it, over the course of the year, there are a lot of briefings that have to happen every year, and these are on this calendar.

A second major source of input to the calendar are ad hoc items initiated in a variety of ways. One of the most common are public hearings on zoning cases. These are, of course, initiated (usually) by a landowner and after working with staff to craft a request that staff thinks makes sense, the staff places the proposal on the Plan Commission calendar and then the Council calendar.

A third major source of input to the calendar are the near term action items that the Council approved not too long ago. For example, the staff placed the update on Sherrill Park on the agenda for last Monday (Dec 19) because the Council made it clear in their near term action items that they wanted to understand better how the arrangement with Ronnie Glanton works, and what can be expected over the course of the next few years from the golf course.

Note that the Charter says this about the City Manager’s duties (Section 6.05):
• To recommend to the council for adoption such measures as the manager may deem necessary or expedient.
• To keep the council at all times fully advised as to the financial condition and needs of the city.
• To prepare or cause to be prepared and submitted to the council the annual budget.
Obviously, the City Manager needs to manage the calendar to make this happen.


mccalpin said...


3. "Who all reviews the draft agenda?" Besides the City Manager’s office? The Mayor, I believe. I am not sure when the rest of the Council sees the agenda, although it is at least a day before it is posted on the Friday before the meeting.
4. “Who has final approval?” The Mayor. Is it in writing? No, but in real life, if the Mayor wants something on the agenda, it will happen, because the City Manager really does work at the pleasure of the Council. “…the manager shall be removable at the will and pleasure of the council by a vote of the majority of the entire council.” Section 6.01 of the Charter. []

Remember that the Mayor is elected by a majority (4) of the Council. Since all it takes is four Council members to remove the City Manager – how much of a fuss do you think the City Manager will make with either the Mayor or the Council?

However, as I noted up in answer #2, the vast majority of things on an agenda are sort of predetermined by outside factors such as required annual briefings, the budget, zoning cases, and so on. The Mayor is not going to dispute the placement of such items on the agenda, as they are a necessary part of the City’s business.

5. “How are disputes about the agenda decided?” In the simple case, the Mayor and the City Manager talk about it. I don’t recall a case in the last 4 1/2 years in which it got to the level of the Council…after all, if the City Manager sees that the Council wants something on the agenda, he’ll put it on the calendar (I have seen that happen many times).

Note Section 3.09 of the Charter[] “Special meetings shall be called by the city secretary upon the written request of the mayor, the city manager or three (3) members of the council. Any such notice shall state the subject to be considered at the special meeting and no other subject shall be considered.” Since the people calling such meetings would also dictate the agenda, it is reasonable to assume that the City Manage, the Mayor, or any three Council members could place an item on any normal meeting. Note that it doesn’t even take a majority of Council members to do this, as you might expect with Robert’s Rules of Order wherein a majority of the delegates (or sometimes 2/3rds) could vote for a change in the agenda.

6. “Where is any of this process written down?” I have no idea if it is written anywhere or not. This lack of documentation is why I wrote McCalpin’s Guide to Richardson City Council Meetings (published at the Richardson Echo[]) – precisely because the public would come to Council meetings and not know the process. I have told the Council that they really ought to have a written set of policies and procedures for this sort of thing – because it protects them as well as the public.


mccalpin said...

7. “How can council members participate in setting the agenda of their own meetings without violating the Texas Open Meetings Act?” They do this in two ways. First, they indirectly set a number of future agenda items by voting on their short term goals. As I noted above, this is why the Sherrill Park agenda item was on the agenda Monday (Dec 19) – the City Manager’s office placed it there because it was on the list of things that the Council said that they wanted to be briefed on.

Remember when Dennis Stewart was elected and he repeatedly stated that he felt that he was elected in order to enact term limits. He brought that up, it was placed on the agenda, the staff wrote a sample Charter amendment, the Council voted on that amendment, and sent it to the voters. When a Council person really wants to discuss something, the current process allows that to be discussed.

Second, the Council can directly chose to indicate their desire for a future agenda item at any meeting, which, of course, does not violate the Texas Open Meetings Act. For example, if a visitor came in to speak about subject X at a Council meeting, as you know, the Council is not permitted by the Open Meetings Act to “deliberate” on that subject. However, they can answer simple questions of policy as well as discuss placing this item on a future agenda. While this hasn’t happened much (if at all) in the Visitors Section, we have already seen a desire expressed by a number of Council to have briefings on issues raised during the recent campaign, Sherrill Park being one of them.

I believe that it would be legal at any Council meeting or worksession for the Council to ask the City Manager to place an item on a future agenda, and that a vote of a majority of the Council (or maybe only three, depending on how you read Section 3.09 of the Charter (see #5 above)) could force this even in the very unlikely case that the Mayor and City Manager disagreed.


mccalpin said...

8. “And if council members don't collaborate on the agenda for their own meeting, why not?” Of course, this is a question you might ask them. But bear in mind that a large majority of items on any given agenda were predetermined by a lot of other factors…the Council can’t just drop everything to concentrate on some particular item. In real life, the Council has to interleave items that they might want to talk about with all the other absolutely necessary items of public business. Remember that the Council members are part-time citizen officeholders who can’t spend 40 hours a week working on this stuff…unless Richardson wants to pay them a full-time salary (they get $50 a meeting right now). So the Council has only X amount of time to get all their stuff done, much of which is predetermined.

There are no doubt those who don’t understand why the Council doesn’t address this or that issue right now, but those people ought to try staying down at City Hall every Monday night throughout the year from 6:00 p.m. until 9, 10, 11 (11:25 p.m. this last Monday) when most of the Council members already have full-time jobs. This is not to mention the “homework” that the Council members have to do as well as all the civic events that they attend during the week – check out Amir Omar’s Facebook page for the amount of stuff he does every week. I notice that the people who complain about the City the most never show up to Council meetings any more, no doubt because they are “watching online”…yeah, of course they are…they like to talk the talk, but they won’t walk the walk in terms of running for office, meeting and persuading people to vote for them, getting elected, and then attending 50/60/70 mandatory meetings a year plus who knows how many civic engagements. It’s easy to criticize when you’re not willing to put in the hours (and no, Mark, this is not pointed at you)…(p.s., per Section 3.04 of the Charter, the Council cannot be paid for more than 52 meetings a year, no matter how many they actually participate in)[]


Mark Steger said...

Bill, many thanks for your comprehensive answers. It'll probably take me a few days to digest them before I react.

Nathan Morgan said...


The most accurate statement in Willy's response is one we've seen on every one of his posts in one form or another, "I believe. I am not sure".

The important point regarding your question is not necessarily how the public and Council are cut out of the process of public business, but why.

I have argued from the beginning that the agenda at City Hall is not that of the citizens. With few exceptions, the items put before the Council for legal action are borne from some initiative of the public employees who supposedly work for us. After their initiative is proposed to the Council, the Council is asked for a response. After the Council's response, they have bought into it. The public employees, in future rhetoric, attribute the initiative to the Council.

The Charter was worded to prevent closed door committees. Unfortunately, the public employees have co-opted the committee process by convincing the Council that committee work can be done in secret from the citizens as long as one of them is not a member of the committee in question.

What kind of open, transparent municipal government is that? I'll tell you. It's one that results in public employees crafting up projects the citizens may not agree with, getting them rolling through a series of executive session concessions from the Council, then springing them on the citizens after everything has been already decided.

Willy argues that this scenario affords a "reasonable opportunity" for public input (before the fact). I say all the citizen concerns can be resolved amicably, given committee work handled in a proper fashion. That is, in public meetings where citizens have a true reasonable opportunity to engage in public business.

Your gas station concern is a classic example. You can be sure that there was an executive session that included deliberations on the use for that piece of property along with a decision to go forward with the standard systematic planning and approval process. All this is typically done in total secrecy because no overt disclosure is made on the agenda. The Open Meetings Act stipulates information on the agenda is to be sufficient to determine the issue at hand qualifies for closed door discussion. Our Council routinely conceals every detail, including the information supposedly "presented" (past tense) to be deliberated behind closed doors.

The standard operating procedure is that information on the initiatives Council and City Management want to conceal is presented in secret during executive session. TOMA prohibited decisions are routinely made behind closed doors, including everything from street, sewer, right of way and utility commitments. Frequently, city infrastructure projects in support of the secret initiative are approved and initiated prior to citizen awareness.


Nathan Morgan said...


The citizens find out why only just before the bow is tied on the package by an impromptu public vote after scant disclosures are made in a Council Work Session.

There are countless examples of City Management obviously leading Council through the decisions necessary to launch a project long before the citizens have an opportunity to consider whether they like the idea or not. When these initiatives finally see the light of day, most of the time the public does not object, not because they don't have any input, but because it's too late for their input to affect secret decisions that have already been acted on.

To argue that Council members are too lazy and preoccupied to do a proper job is ludicrous. That's like complaining of noisy football games and sports events after buying a home within a mile of a high school stadium the Council allowed to expand and enlarge. It comes with the free meals.

To do a good job as a representative of the citizens requires active participation in the public business, not simply casting votes and blindly abdicating the responsibility of oversight to public employees who have their own agenda and aspirations.

No sir, if you want to be a representative of the citizenry, you can't allow public employees to be the boss. If you do that, you end up serving the employees more so than those who elected you.

The proper way to correct this systemic problem in Richardson is the way other municipalities have done. That is, pay Council members a reasonable wage for the job and fund a budget for each Council seat such that they act as representatives of the citizens independent of the agenda of public employees. Each Council seat can properly research matters of public business without the influence of special interests, such as those of public employees.

Bear in mind, the legality of the way Richardson does things has been challenged, or otherwise found curious or disturbing by many thinking citizens, including yourself. Examination of the "Richardson way" has raised moral and ethical questions that would not exist in an open and transparent municipal government.

Richardson could have avoided the consequences of the years of neglecting infrastructure maintenance, repair and replacement if city government had not been overtaken by zealous public employees who have no business using public resources in behaving like real estate developers.

mccalpin said...

As a follow-up, readers may want to peruse AG Dan Morales' opinion DM-473 ( that discusses the process for home rule cities in setting their agendas. The AG's conclusion was that home rule cities had broad powers to set the agenda process as they liked, so long as the process did not violate State law for other reasons.

An example of a violation would be a "walking quorum", where Council members would talk to each other in numbers less than a quorum to discuss a possible agenda item, and secure general agreement on the item before it ever gets on the agenda - this would be illegal.

On the other hand, I think what normally happens in Richardson is this...a Council member has an idea, researches it, gets excited about it, calls the Mayor and persuades the Mayor that this is at least worth looking into, and then the Mayor asks the City Manager to research the idea and place it on a future Council agenda for a briefing.

The AG’s Open Meetings Handbook says that a one-on-one conversation that has no intention of evading the Act is not illegal, because there is no quorum to the discussion, walking or otherwise.

At other times, a Council member brings up an issue during a Council meeting and asks that the issue be placed on a future agenda. Note that there is no deliberation at this point (hence, no violation of the Open Meetings Act), only the request to the City Manager to place the item on a future agenda. If there is no strong objection from other Council members, then the City Manager normally agrees and does this.

This should also point out the obvious: to make sure that some idea gets discussed at Council, the idea needs a champion on the Council. Note what the Attorney General says in the opinion above: "In Attorney General Opinion H-188, this office determined that the Open Meetings Act does not authorize the public to choose the items to be discussed or to discuss subjects on the agenda." The public doesn't have the power but the Council members do, so if you, as a private citizen, want something placed on a future agenda, then you need to find a champion on the Council to make that happen.

Look at the residents in Southwest Richardson in reference to redevelopment and at the residents near the Lookout Transfer Station in reference to the NTMWD’s plan to increase its capacity. These people did it the right way – they worked with Council members, they provided information, they organized neighborhood associations and their fellow residents to express their support, and most of all encouraged their Council members to be leaders in solving a problem. Though it may have taken a while, I believe that both groups are quite happy with the results.

Unfortunately, there are those who do it wrong...starting off your speech by calling the members of the Council unethical and criminal is NOT the way to find a champion for your idea on the Council. For example, in 2010, a local attorney came to the Council to ask that the Council schedule a separate vote on the Certificates of Obligation that the Council approved after the May 2010 bond election. Unfortunately, he started out the speech by accusing them of all having violated the Charter by selling debt without the consent of the voters. Needless to say, not only was this accusation completely off-base...but it didn't win the attorney any friends on the Council to champion his request.(


mccalpin said...


It’s odd that what is blindingly obvious to most people has totally escaped a small group of disgruntled residents who believe that the way to get things done is to falsely accuse, insult, and make personal attacks. The results of such a negative strategy are quite clear – the candidates supported by these people were soundly defeated in a landslide earlier this year.

Indeed, all the false statements, insults, and personal attacks are really a measure of the impotence of certain people, because it demonstrates that they themselves realize that they have no influence in the City but can only wail and gnash their teeth in the darkness outside.


Nathan Morgan said...


There you go again, trying to justify immoral acts with legal ease. Sure, there are lots of things people do that are not specifically unlawful. But laws are made to protect morality, not exploit it. Exploiting the holes in the law, especially when it comes to serving the citizens is an immoral act. Why do you insist on defending and promoting immorality? Why don't you put your energy and intelligence to work correcting the problem rather than trying to justify it in a slippery legal way? Oh, sorry, I guess you would have to realize the problem first.

mccalpin said...

Nathan, please explain to everyone here just where I tried to "justify immoral acts with legal ease"[sic - I assume you meant "legalese"].

No, don't give us one of your dodge-the-question sort of responses...just show us the quote where I tried to "justify immoral acts with legal ease". Be very specific. Use an exact quote.


Nathan Morgan said...


Two or more Council members discussing public business outside a public meeting is, according to the TOMA, a roving quorum violation. This includes a Council person discussing a potential agenda item with the Mayor for the purpose of getting it on the agenda. This discussion is suppose to take place in a meeting open to the public, not in a private conversation between two or more members of the governing body.

This is about the most basic example of how Richardson government has become corrupt. People actually think it's ok for even the smallest matter of public business to take place in private.

These little misinterpretations lead to bigger ones. Next thing you know, we have what's going on today. Lots of little misinterpretations and actions violating the public trust.

mccalpin said...

Good Lord, Nathan, have you EVER read the Texas Open Meetings Handbook? You know, that's the handbook by the Texas Attorney General's Office that you casually dismissed as, oh, how did you put it, a "training manual...with questionable opinions".

Look at what the handbook explicitly says: "The Esperanza court said that a meeting of less than a quorum is not subject to the
Act “when there is no intent to avoid the Act’s requirements.”" Talking to the Mayor about putting something on the agenda so that the entire Council can discuss something in public per the Open Meetings Act is explicitly legal by judicial ruling...and it's "moral" (your new favorite term) too, because this gives the public a chance to see the discussion and give their input.

You are simply wrong that all conversations between Council members are forbidden by the Act. The Open Meetings Act regulates meetings of a quorum of Council members. It includes prohibitions against a "walking quorum" where a series of contacts in private ends up involving a quorum.

However, in the case I have described, it would be ludicrous to describe this as either a quorum or a walking quorum, as the whole point of this communication is to get an item on the public agenda.

In short, it is you who have misinterpreted the Open Meetings Act...if you think otherwise, please show us the EXACT passage in the Open Meetings Act that prohibits a Council member from asking the Mayor to put something on the agenda.


Nathan Morgan said...


Vanity is not necessary. As easy as I know it is for you to promote immoral behavior, I wish you would leave the Lord out of it.

You have again missed the point behind "avoiding the Act's requirements".

You are right, all private conversations between Council members are not forbidden. Just the ones that involve public business. There is no exclusion for conversations about the agenda. To suggest otherwise is immoral.

Given your scenario, a quorum of two, a Council member and the Mayor, are what it takes to decide on an agenda item. What you have described is a walking quorum sufficient in number to make a decision on public business. It matters not what the topic of discussion happens to be, or how trivial you, or anyone else may think.

In your typical myopic misinterpretation, you fail to recognize even the most basic requirements of the Open Meetings Act. These foundational principles are what the entire Act is composed upon.

Violating the spirit of the act is the immoral part. Laws were established to protect morality, not exploit it. If you think there should be some exclusion, then campaign to change the law. Don't just misinterpret it to suit your view of the world and think that justifies your ignorance.

Nathan Morgan said...


Just for your benefit, I was the one who introduced the Council to the Handbook. Fred Hill's office sent me a case of them along with the Public Information Act Handbook long before you decided to start attending meetings.

This was at about the time when your friends intensified (or "amplified") deriding me for sticking my nose into public business.

Each Council member was given a copy. Shortly afterward, the Legislature passed the law that required public servants subject to the Act to take certified regular training on it.

Then you came along. Welcome to the celebration.

mccalpin said...

First, I will note that you failed to address my very reasonable request: "please show us the EXACT passage in the Open Meetings Act that prohibits a Council member from asking the Mayor to put something on the agenda."

I take this to mean that you can't, because it isn't there.

Second, while perhaps you may have delivered some books, you don't seem to have opened and read them. Otherwise, you wouldn't be making the patently flawed statements that you make.

You confuse deliberation on public business with setting the agenda. You claim that they are the same, but the Legislature, the Attorney General, and the courts disagree.

Remember what I said above:
1. AG opinion DM-473 - "The AG's conclusion was that home rule cities had broad powers to set the agenda process as they liked, so long as the process did not violate State law for other reasons."
2. Therefore, the Act does not mandate how agendas are to be set. The care of the State is passive - so long as you don't violate the Act, the State does not care how you set your agenda.
3. For example, the City of Dallas had a rule that at least 5 Council members (other than the Mayor) had to support an item for the agenda before it was put on the agenda. Critics claimed that this was too high a bar. The AG’s conclusion: “We see no basis for finding the rule invalid under the Open Meetings Act or inconsistent with the constitution, general laws, or city charter provisions.”
4. On the contrary, the Act is explicitly concerned with the concept that requires meetings of governmental bodies to be open to the public, except for expressly authorized closed sessions.
5. To that end, the Act defines "governmental body", "meetings", “quorum”, and other terminology needed to fill the language of the Act.
6. The Act explicitly states that deliberation of public business by a quorum of the governmental body is subject to the Act, including “walking quorums”.
7. However, the current Texas Open Meetings Handbook also explicitly notes: "The Esperanza court said that a meeting of less than a quorum is not subject to the
Act “when there is no intent to avoid the Act’s requirements.”"
8. Obviously, since the Act permits home-rule cities to create their own processes to create the agenda and the act of adding agenda items as described above never includes a quorum directly or even indirectly except at a publicly-noticed meeting, these methods do not and cannot violate any section of the Act….nor are you able to provide a citation from the Act proving otherwise (see first comment above).

Think about the Dallas case referred to in DM-473. The Dallas rule – which the AG could not find any statutory fault with – required at least 5 Council members to come together to support adding an agenda item. How do you think this was going to happen? Of course, the Council members would talk to each other until 5 of them could be found to support the item’s inclusion. But the AG had NO PROBLEM with Council members doing this because he never mentions this as a concern, even as he notes above the prohibition above against a “walking quorum”.

And note this remarkable sentence: “While this provision [the one about how to respond to issues brought up in the Visitors Section] does not mandate that the item be placed on the agenda of a future meeting, it does allow an individual member of the governmental body to bring up a subject of public interest and to request consideration of it in the future.”

Simply put, according to the Texas Open Meeting Act and the Attorney General’s interpretation thereof, building an agenda for a public meeting in a home-rule city is NOT the same thing as deliberating the public business on that agenda, and you are completely wrong to confuse the two.


mccalpin said...

Nathan, you seem eager to paint my writings as “defending…immorality”. I know you don’t understand this, but the following items are things that normal, decent people find immoral.

Falsely accusing Council member Steve Mitchell of violating the City’s Code of Ethics and then failing to apologize when proven wrong.[]

Falsely accusing Council member John Murphy of violating State law and then failing to apologize when proven wrong.[]

Repeatedly accusing the Council of violating State law and then failing to ever apologize when proven wrong.[], []

Repeatedly accusing the Council of violating the City Charter and then failing to ever apologize when proven wrong.[], []

Referring to the significant other of a Council member as an “Asian concubine” and never apologizing for the gender and ethnic slur.

Referring to good Catholics as people who don’t think for themselves and being “[n]ot of the intellectually honest, or very smart fish species” and never apologizing for the religious slur (“mackerel snappers”, anyone?)[]

And referring to the people who ride DART as "derelicts, mental cases, and troublemakers" who are of another “ethnic origin” and who evidently have African-American accents.

You have done all of these things, Nathan. You have let your festering hatred of decent people drive you to try to spread distress and despair among good and honest citizens who don’t understand why anyone would say so many provably false things with such venom.

You have no shame, Nathan. This cannot be more easily seen that by your sterling performance at City Hall where you announced that you were a “good Caucasian ambassador”, and so would deign to speak to the "derelicts, mental cases, and troublemakers" who are of another “ethnic origin” around you.

You have made public statements which denigrate women, ethnic minorities, and Catholics – and that’s what is truly immoral as well as a betrayal of the principles of this country.


I encourage everyone who has a difficult time believing this last item about the “good Caucasian ambassador” to view Mr. Morgan addressing our City Council at where he says these things in full knowledge that he is being recorded. Since I was sitting just a few feet away from Mr. Morgan when he was speaking, I can tell you personally that the Council and the audience were mouths-open aghast.

What do you call it when someone knowingly makes false accusations of unethical and criminal behavior and who makes racial and ethnic and religious slurs? I call it highly, highly immoral.

Nathan Morgan said...

You are obsessed. In your zeal to berate me I am afraid you have lost touch with reality. You are more comical with each of your tales of lore. If your misrepresentations were not so pathetic, people might overlook your hatred for me. Might I suggest a visit to an Amsterdam spa?

You consistently argue on the side of concealment and limiting citizen engagement in the public business. That, my friend, is immoral.

You consistently argue against any citizen concern and go to great lengths to denigrate those who raise them. That's immoral.

You consistently misrepresent the thoughts and words of those you oppose in construing your rebuttals. That's immoral.

You consistently claim sanctimony in your statements, carefully crafted to mislead, re-direct and confuse the matter of concern. That's immoral.

So, Willy, everybody can see why your rhetoric does not deserve the dignity of a response. You are lying to yourself and everybody here.

As to the implausibility of a response for the first attack in your diatribe above, there is nothing in the Open Meetings Act addressing private conversations on public business between Council members during a bathroom break either, is there?

You can't legislate morality, Willy. You are either born with it, or you are not.

mccalpin said...

[NM]“You consistently argue on the side of concealment and limiting citizen engagement in the public business. That, my friend, is immoral.”

Nathan, show us a SPECIFIC place where I said this…you can’t because I have never expressed such an opinion.

[NM]“You consistently argue against any citizen concern and go to great lengths to denigrate those who raise them. That's immoral.”

Nathan, show us where I argued against “ANY citizen concern”; the fact is that I disprove YOUR false statements and irresponsible accusations, none of which you ever defend.

[NM]“You consistently misrepresent the thoughts and words of those you oppose in construing your rebuttals. That's immoral.”

Nathan show us one SPECIFC place where I have done this. Just you saying something doesn’t make it so.

[NM]“You consistently claim sanctimony in your statements, carefully crafted to mislead, re-direct and confuse the matter of concern. That's immoral.”

Nathan, show us one SPECIFIC place where I claim sanctimony. You can’t, because I don’t.

[NM]“So, Willy, everybody can see why your rhetoric does not deserve the dignity of a response. You are lying to yourself and everybody here.”

Nathan show us any SPECIFIC place where I lied to anyone. You can’t because I haven’t.

[NM]“As to the implausibility of a response for the first attack in your diatribe above, there is nothing in the Open Meetings Act addressing private conversations on public business between Council members during a bathroom break either, is there?”

Nathan, the answer is clearly supplied by the Act and the Attorney General and a Texas court in #7 above - “However, the current Texas Open Meetings Handbook also explicitly notes: "The Esperanza court said that a meeting of less than a quorum is not subject to the Act “when there is no intent to avoid the Act’s requirements.”"”

Your problem is that you refuse to accept what is right in front of your nose. If you don’t like what the current Act and the Attorney General and a Texas court say, then instead of slandering the Richardson City government for committing crimes that they are not committing, why don’t you get yourself down to Austin and persuade the Legislature to change the Act?

It is quite “immoral”, to use your term, to accuse people of violating the law when they in fact are obeying the law, and you just don’t like the law.

Again, have you EVER admitted and apologized for any of the false accusations you have made? The answer is clear in your vacuous responses – NO.


Nathan Morgan said...

Silly Willy,

What do YOU think the "Act's requirements" are? The requirements cover a lot of ground. One thing is for sure. It doesn't include an exclusion for two members of the governing body meeting, deliberating and making a decision on any matter of public business on behalf of the governing body. That is because that would be violating the Act's requirement for an open meeting to conduct such business.

Show me the exclusion, Willy.

You could make a plausible argument if your wild claims were not based on crazy conjectures and false statements. Try sticking the the plain truth if you want people to pay you any mind.

mccalpin said...

[NM]"It doesn't include an exclusion for two members of the governing body meeting, deliberating and making a decision on any matter of public business on behalf of the governing body. That is because that would be violating the Act's requirement for an open meeting to conduct such business."

This statement is sheer gibberish.

1. You deliberately confuse the act of making the agenda with the act of deliberations on agenda items. As I noted above, home rule cities are allowed to create their own methods of determining the agenda. I note that you did not dispute this.

2. As I noted above, a discussion of less than a quorum (including the walking quorum exception) is not covered by the Act in any case - this is explicit in the Act and has been confirmed by AG opinion and court case. You simply refuse to accept it. I note again that you fail to provide any evidence to the contrary.

As for "show me the exclusion", I did already: "However, the current Texas Open Meetings Handbook also explicitly notes: "The Esperanza court said that a meeting of less than a quorum is not subject to the Act “when there is no intent to avoid the Act’s requirements.”""

Everyone reading this thread will see that you refuse to admit what is plain for all to see - you deny what is obvious and hope that personal insults and repeating falsehoods over and over again will somehow win the argument. Stay in San Antonio where maybe you can fool people - your ability to fool people in Richardson is long gone...


Nathan Morgan said...


Where did you say you went to school? Last I checked, the political hack diploma fell short of the requirements for a law degree, even at those correspondence schools. Your pretending to be some kind of legal authority in disputing the plain language, common sense and morality in the statutes paints your character as something other than respectable.

The good people of this town are not buying your twisted sense of morality when it comes to public service. Just because the law does not exclude objectionable behavior that does not make it acceptable.

You'll have to adopt a better sense of ethics if you plan on getting anywhere in public service or politics. Or, given the current state of the political arena, maybe not. You fit right in as it stands now.

mccalpin said...

Your comments on my diploma are laughable, given that it was you who inflated his resume here on this blog and before the Texas Supreme Court.

And I do not have to pretend to be a legal authority when what I am doing is quoting the law, the Attorney General, and Texas courts. I notice that you never deny that the law and the AG and the courts said these things...

As for the rest, there are two simple issues, which you deliberately confound: (1) what is the law, and (2) is the law just?

You accuse people of breaking the law and only later admit that they really didn't because they were obeying the law, but the law is wrong....yet you NEVER apologize to those people for slandering them...that's immoral...


Nathan Morgan said...


The lesson is over. You failed the test. There is no more you can say that can be any more dishonest in representing the circumstance. You have shown everybody where your ethics lie. Your correspondence school crape paper diploma is worthless if denigrating concerned citizens is the only skill you acquired.

You are absolutely nuts if you think anybody could get away with the things you say I have. You need to file a formal complaint or shut your mouth.

mccalpin said...

On November 11, 2011, Nathan Morgan claimed on his website that (1) 5 of the 7 Richardson Council members lived on the west side of Central Expressway, and (2) that the Richardson Coalition spent an "unprecedented" amount of money on the campaign.

Both statements are false.

Please see for the proof...


Nathan Morgan said...


Are you hard of hearing?