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Author Archives: Heather N. Cook

Shot clock

Mind the Shot Clock

By Heather N. Cook |

As we come out of an epic college basketball season, shot clocks may still be on the mind.  Maybe you are new to municipal planning or maybe you just want a refresher, but either way we are going to chat a bit about the platting process and critical timing elements of that process. What… Read More »

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Dog and Cat at computer

Call Off the Dogs, We’re Letting the Cat Out of the Bag: New(er) Laws for Fido and Tiger

By Heather N. Cook |

“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandhi Are you a cat person? A dog person? Both? Well, then you might be interested in learning about two new laws adopted during the 88th Legislative Session in Texas that are intended to offer greater protection to… Read More »

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house-7313645_640

County Appraisal District Chaos?

By Heather N. Cook |

If you are a property owner in Texas, you were probably thrilled last November to vote in the constitutional amendment election to reduce your property tax liability and to increase the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $100,000. Given the unprecedented increases in property values across most of the state over the last several years,… Read More »

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Files

The End of the “Dead Suspect Loophole” and Other TPIA Changes

By Heather N. Cook |

During the last legislative session, changes were made to Chapter 552 of the Texas Local Government Code which altered important government transparency provisions related to the release of information under the Texas Public Information Act (TPIA). Public Information Officers (PIOs) need to be aware of these changes which impact: 1) the release of information… Read More »

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Street Racing

Go Speed Racer, Go! (Or Maybe Don’t)

By Heather N. Cook |

Those of a certain vintage might remember the late 1960’s animated Speed Racer series and others might be more familiar with the re-airing of the series in the 1990’s or even the 2008 movie remake, but either way, you probably now have the earworm opening song stuck in your head.  Speed Racer sought to… Read More »

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Title VII

Fifth Circuit Overturns Title VII Discrimination Law Precedent

By Heather N. Cook |

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, §§ 2000e et seq., it is unlawful for an employer “to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”  42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1) (emphasis added). For… Read More »

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