Municipal Attorney Proves that City Council - NOT the Mayor - Has the Authority in a General Law City.

Watch as David Olson, Olson and Olson namesake, corrects the record when another local mayor misunderstood her actual authority in 2020.

The facts were very similar in 2020, when the (then) Mayor of the City of Weston Lakes was accused by members of her City Council of preventing them from placing their legitimate items onto the city agenda.

It was at the August 20, 2020 Weston Lakes City Workshop meeting that the Mayor was confronted by the City Attorney regarding her understanding of the city council’s authority and not understanding the limits placed on her as Mayor. 

This is the exact thing that appears to be taking place in Simonton today – and this also appears to have been taking place for years. This, considering that the City Council for the past 5 years has not questioned or denied even a single item on the Mayor’s agenda.

In the above video, David Olson, the former City Attorney for both the City of Simonton AND the City of Weston Lakes explained along with another City Attorney, Jay Zhang, exactly where the Mayor’s authority is derived. 

According to Mr. Olson, the State of Texas gives the Mayor the authority to present a budget, to operate emergency management, and presiding over meetings.

Put into practical terms, it is the City Council that grants ALL further Mayoral authority and it can withdraw it at their will.

In this video, David Olson points out with painfully specific words that the Mayor is “Under” the City Council – and that the City Attorney and the City Secretary are as well.

My analysis:
The very idea that the Mayor would usurp the will of the City Council in order to gain a tactical advantage over them – by denying their agenda items or forcing her Mayor Pro Tem on – them flies in the face of the American ideal that the government derives its authority “from the consent of the governed”.

Our representatives on the City Council have the legal and moral authority to operate according to our consent and NOT according to the consent – or demands of the Mayor.

The following video is part of a much longer meeting and has been queued up to the moment that David Olson, the (then) City Attorney interrupts the Mayor to correct her understanding. Spoiler alert, the Mayor ultimately declares her disagreement with Mr. Olson’s legal assessment.