City-owned utilities in Texas have historically denied public access to records, despite their very public nature. This stance is generally supported by the state Attorney General’s office. Witness most recently the trouble officials in Bryan had obtaining information for budgetary purposes.
In a refreshing blast, CPS Energy in San Antonio has disclosed its top salaries following a promise of openness.
In the Express-News story, Beneby "said he made the decision 'with much difficulty,' noting that those employees whose salaries would be made public 'didn't sign on for that — they're not city employees.'"
However, he acknowledged that CPS' reputation has been damaged by perceptions of secrecy and emphasized his own commitment to increased transparency.
“Given what's happened in the past, at this point in time, this is a reasonable stance to take,” he said.
In the past, salary information has been protected by AG rulings that claim there are public records exceptions for competitive matters for quasi-public entities. These rulings are usually cite 552.133 of the government code.
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Photo of power lines by flickr user Horia Varlan, used via a Creative Commons license.