Sherman resident Ronald L. Aycock recently raised concerns, during a meeting of the City Council, about the city’s transparency regarding the publication of public notices.
Aycock asked Sherman City Attorney Brandon Shelby when the city publishes public notices and Shelby said they are available 72 hours before the meeting.
“This last one (and) the ones I’ve seen before usually show up on a Friday outside this door,” Aycock said of Sherman City Hall. “It may be on the website earlier but people don’t go to the website.”
Shelby pointed out the city is only required to post the agenda to the website and on the bulletin board of the front door of City Hall. Aycock then questioned when the agendas were sent to local media. Council member Willie Steele noted the time he received the agenda email to answer Aycock’s question and said the area’s media outlets got the agenda at the same time.
Aycock also raised concerns about the location of fire exit signage and fire extinguishers in City Hall. Sherman Fire Marshall Billy Hartsfield pointed out where those exit signs were and asked Aycock whether he wanted to discuss those matters further after the meeting. Sherman City Manager Robby Hefton told Aycock the city was in full compliance with state law regarding that matter.
Shelby pointed out city management has asked staff to send out the agenda sooner, but explained sometimes an item isn’t ready to go earlier in the week and staff want to ensure an item that should be on the agenda has the opportunity to be published.
Aycock told the council he has been attending meetings since Oct. 16 collecting data on the city’s transparency and said it was either the city’s or local media’s fault the public wasn’t being properly informed. Shelby said he takes full responsibility for compliance with state law and said the city is meeting all requirements.
Contact Herald Democrat reporter Richard A. Todd at firstname.lastname@example.org.