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Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 1:38 AM
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Hutto council reprimands mayor

Mayor Mike Snyder defends his actions against council clap-back.
Mayor Mike Snyder defends his actions against council clap-back.

HUTTO – Mayor Mike Snyder received an official reprimand from the city for posting a list of mortgage banks used by council members on social media. The censure stemmed from a Facebook post the mayor made Aug. 21. The list did not identify which council members had loans at which bank or the amount of the loans.

To some this is considered confidential, even though they are public documents recorded in Williamson County. The people have a right to know the financial picture of their elected people. Not to mention, the elected people voted to share this information with the public,” Snyder said in his post.

Hutto’s governmental candidates, top executives and elected officials are required by the city to submit financial disclosure forms. They are a matter of public record.

Snyder has been a vocal advocate of financial transparency, and has pushed to have the financial disclosure forms easily available for the public to view.

The reprimand was approved by the Hutto City Council at a special meeting Aug. 24. The basis for the complaint was an Aug. 17 meeting, when council members had requested their financial disclosure forms not be publicly posted until after the city attorney gave a legal opinion on the practice. While Snyder did not post individually-identifiable information, some council members felt his action violated the spirit of the agreement.

I have no fear of giving my financial disclosure to any citizen who asks for it,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Peter Gordon. “My concern was having it online and making it that much easier for criminals to do something nefarious with my or another member’s bank institution name. In my opinion, it betrayed the trust of the City Council because we had agreed to wait for the decision of the city attorney.”

Gordon initiated the resolution to reprimand Snyder, and the motion passed 5-2 with only Council member Dan Thornton supporting the mayor. Thornton pointed out that the agreement was to not post anyone’s individual information from the disclosure statements, and Snyder posting a list of banks with no other identification of council members was not the same thing.

The information he posted was not from the disclosures. It’s already public. I found that information online in five minutes,” Thornton said.

Other council members used word including “unethical”, “irresponsible” and “breach of trust” in discussing why they voted for the reprimand.

Twice tonight you’ve accused me of bullying tactics,” Gordon told Snyder. “It’s not a bullying tactic to hold someone accountable for something they’re doing wrong.”

Peter Gordon explains his concerns over exposing personal information to cyber criminals.

Peter Gordon explains his concerns over exposing personal information to cyber criminals.


Taylor Press

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