Restraining Order Stops Talks on Proposed Edinburg Ordinance
EDINBURG – Edinburg councilmen filed a restraining order against an ordinance that seeks to control how city council meetings are conducted.
The ordinance is an effort to help keep order at city council meetings. However, a city council member said the ordinance would keep him and his colleagues silenced.
Edinburg council member Richard Molina has helped his constituents for the past four years. He ran for city council after serving as a police officer.
“I still have my peace officer’s license and I still see things pretty much black and white. I don’t have too much room for gray,” he said.
Molina said he wants to operate with integrity.
Last December, CHANNEL 5 NEWS reported about an apartment project in Edinburg. Molina said the council approved it without presenting all the information before the vote.
He added the council was recently criticized after a series of public disagreements.
“We’ve had some very controversial meetings in the sense that they got hot and heated,” Molina said.
The city council was supposed to vote Thursday on an ordinance that would help maintain order in their meetings. Edinburg Mayor Richard Garcia explained further why he placed it on the agenda.
“As of late, we’ve been having some disruption in the meetings. Instead of waiting to be recognized to speak, we had, on occasion, council members who can yell the loudest,” he said. “That’s not appropriate. I’ve had some complaints from the public.”
Molina disagreed and said there was another reason for the ordinance.
“In my opinion, because the way this really puts a lot of red tape. It leaves me basically powerless as a councilman to serve my constituents,” he said.
Garcia argued his goal is to keep meetings under control.
“I’m an attorney, but I don’t give legal opinions because we hire a lawyer. Some of these things (they’ve) talked about are from non-lawyers and, I guess, people that don’t understand what they’re reading,” he said. “There’s nothing in there that says anything like that or any reason to say that there’s that intent.”
Molina requested Edinburg citizens to attend the meetings. He added it’s important people know what the government is doing with their money.
“Come out into the council meeting and voice your opinion. After this, I don’t know how much voice you’ll have but still come out,” he said.
The ordinance was not discussed at the meeting after the restraining order was filed.
Edinburg city leaders said a hearing will be held over the future of the ordinance in the next 10 days.