City follows state’s lead on TikTok

The City of Gladewater’s poised to join a growing number of public (and private) entities restricting employee use of the TikTok app on issued devices.

The related ordinance on the Gladewater City Council’s Feb. 12 agenda will, if approved this week, bring the municipality into step with Senate Bill 1893, signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in June 2023 to codify his previous ban of the app on government-issued devices.

Meanwhile, there’s a looming increase for the solid waste rates in the City of Gladewater (and other communities).

The new social media restriction is the first action item on Thursday evening’s agenda after the meeting opens with regular comments from Mayor Scott Owens, recurring project updates from interim City Manager Charlie Smith, Citizens Comments and night’s Consent Agenda.

The Texas Legislature acted on the TikTok issue last year and S.B. 1893 went into effect Sept. 1. Following standard language, the city’s policy prohibits the installation or use of TikTok (and other restricted applications) on any device owned or leased by the city. Any related apps already-installed must be removed, and municipal employees will be prohibited from using the platform for city-related business.

There are notable exceptions, according to the draft ordinance: “TikTok may be installed and used to the extent necessary for providing law enforcement or developing or implementing information security measures, and used in compliance with documented measures to mitigate risks to the security of governmental entity information.”

Allied Waste’s rate increase is on the night’s consent agenda (items typically voted on with little or no public discussion) – council members will consider approval of a update to the waste contractor’s Schedule of Rates.

Set to begin in April, a handful of fees will increase by just 2.7 percent and some by as much as 10 percent, but the bulk of costs will go up a little more than 5 percent.

Two other key consent agenda items Feb. 12 include consideration of a Financial Advisory Services Agreement between the City of Gladewater and Specialized Public Finance Inc. as well as an ordinance ordering a Charter Amendment Election for the community for May 4 – revisions have been in discussion by an appointed board for months but no draft has yet been presented.

In another action item Thursday, council members will consider revisions to local cemetery regulations. Besides a few custodial changes to the wording of the rules, a key addition will (if approved) add a 40 percent convenience fee of the sales price of current lots for a second burial (cremation) in a single lot.

The city’s elected officials are set to close the meeting with an executive (private) discussion of “personnel matters regarding the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal” before reconvening into open session to take public action, if necessary, related to that closed door dialogue.

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