Questions about the metes and bounds of the proposed disannexation area arose at the April 8 town forum on Disannexation. The questions may linger long after the May 6 election, to be finally determined by the courts.
“We didn’t have an engineer prepare this,” said Salado FED UP spokesperson John Newman in response to a question about how the metes and bounds of the proposed disannexation area were determined. “I spent two months in county records preparing this.”
Chapter 43 of the Local Government Code states in subsection 143 “Disannexation by Petition and Election in General Law Municipality” that the petition to the mayor of the municipality “describes the area by metes and bounds.”
“We used the documents the Village filed in 2000 to set the metes and bounds of the perimeter of the city limits,” Newman said. “And then we found the appropriate plats to set what would be the future property line break line on that.”
Newman discussed a comment at a previous meeting about the expense to the Village for engineering to determine if the metes and bounds close. “The Village’s engineer spent a great deal of time and effort in trying to determine whether the metes and bounds closed. What we found in the documents filed with the county was that there was absolutely no way that they could close because they don’t have calls for every dimension.”
Newman said that the Village claims a rather expensive number on this, but “in fact, it would take any decent engineer a minute looking at this document file from the county to realize that there’s no way you could do that (close the metes and bounds).”
“We tried to identify as best we could what the metes and bounds were,” Newman said.
“It is our suspicion that they (Board of Aldermen) didn’t turn it (petition for election) down on that (metes and bounds) is that the documents they filed in 2000 were no good,” Newman said. “They would have to go in and defend what they did in 2000.”
“It was supposed to be professionally prepared,” he added.
Alan Bojorquez addressed the issue of “metes and bounds” and the 2000 incorporation election. “The standards to incorporate required the petitioners to submit a plat describing the area. The term plat is not defined anywhere in state law and has been interpreted to mean a map or drawing.” Bojorquez’ law firm represents the Village of Salado.
Bojorquez said he has seen more than a dozen incorporations during his two-plus decades as a municipal attorney. “I have seen where someone has gotten a county tax map and a Sharpie and drawn a border, circulated a petition, turned it into the county, had an election and become a city.”
“No survey is required,” Bojorquez added. “The county judge was satisfied in 2000. That is the end of the question.”
However, regarding disannexation, the law is specific, Bojorquez said.
He added that the metes and bounds of the disannexation petition “included text and a drawing. The drawing was part of the petition that was circulated for signatures, the text wasn’t, according to Bojorquez.
He added: “The map circulated with the petition does not line up with the map the engineer drew based upon the metes and bounds.”
According to Bojorquez, there are multiple places, “some small and some quite large, where the lines do not meet.”
“You can’t tell based on the metes and bounds if a property is in or out, if it cuts through a house or not,” Bojorquez said. “Those are some of the discrepancies. So whether or not the metes and bounds turned in with the petition meets the standard of the law for metes and bounds is yet to be determined.”
“All we can tell now,” he added, “is that they don’t line up and don’t meet.”