• November 25, 2014

Salado board studies deal with official’s employer

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Posted: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 11:45 pm

SALADO — The Salado board of aldermen Thursday will discuss a proposed interlocal agreement to set up a purchasing cooperative with Texas Can Academy.

Texas Can Academy is a statewide network of charter schools and dropout recovery programs.

“It will allow small school districts who can’t afford to buy from the Regional Education Service Centers to purchase things in bulk,” said Fred Brown, Salado’s mayor pro tem.

“It’s a win-win for the village; there will be no liability and the village will get a 20 percent commission.”

A registered lobbyist

Brown is a registered lobbyist who represents Texas Can Academy in Austin. When he initially brought the proposal to the board at its June 5 workshop meeting, Brown informed the board that he would abstain from voting on anything related to the proposed agreement between the village and Texas Can Academy.

Texas law allows municipalities to enter into contracts with businesses that are owned by or employ elected officials, as long as the elected official does not vote on the agreement.

Salado was not the first local governmental entity approached by Texas Can Academy.

At the board’s June 5 workshop meeting, village administrator Jim Reed said the Central Texas Council of Governments was approached by the company late last year but opted not to pursue the agreement.

“It wasn’t a bad deal, but the COG’s council felt that it was out of their comfort zone,” Reed said.

If approved, the proposal will generate $50,000 per year for the village, or enough money to fund the Main Street Vision plan, a $250,000 five-year aesthetic redevelopment project crafted by the village’s Main Street Vision committee and presented to the board by Brown on June 5.

Some reservations

Some members of the board expressed reservations about casting votes on the proposal so soon after it was presented to them.

“I’m a little concerned because it’s on the workshop agenda for action and I’m not comfortable with that,” Alderman Hans Fields said.

“I haven’t seen any documentation on the proposal yet. I’m supposed to get a notebook that will have the documents in it today or tomorrow.”

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