Denton City Council members will consider recording closed sessions after Deb Armintor made a request to do so during a council work session Tuesday.
“For the future, the historical record and for open government and to help jog our memories, I encourage you … to have a work session to record our closed meetings,” she said.
Council informally agreed to discuss the measure at a future work session in the coming weeks.
Armintor, the at-large Place 5 member, is in her second term.
Under the Texas Open Meetings Act, recording closed sessions is lawful. Kelley Shannon, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, said it is encouraged for better record keeping and is good to have in the case of a legal dispute.
“They should at least keep minutes,” she said. “But they can also record it because it’s more precise. People will have more precise information and exact knowledge if it ever comes out.”
Paul Meltzer, the at-large Place 6 member, agreed.
“It’s an option provided by law,” he said. “I have no objection to it or having a discussion about it.”
Under Texas law, government entities are allowed to enter executive session to discuss, among other issues, personnel matters, real estate transactions and litigation.
In an email to city staff members, Armintor said that closed meetings should be recorded “to keep us honest.” After the work session, she expressed her gratitude to other council members.
“I’m thrilled and very grateful to my colleagues — council members [Birdia] Johnson, Meltzer and [Mayor Gerard] Hudspeth — for agreeing to have a work session,” she said. “This is a chance for the city of Denton to step up and give the people of Denton the open government they deserve.”