Bangert: Those ‘pesky, pesky laws’ will guide us when it comes to government transparency

The Greeley Tribune: Laws. Those pesky, pesky laws.

A Facebook friend of mine said something to that effect last week to introduce a link about ethical standards for employees in the White House. Something about it being wrong to use public office for private personal gain.

But I’m not writing here to criticize the White House employee who was “counseled” last week on her ethical violation.

It got me to thinking about something else: Those pesky, annoying laws that require government entities to have open meetings, share public records with the public and generally be transparent, which is a campaign buzzword of nearly every elected official.

Not every public official or every government entity we cover is guilty of trying to bypass the Colorado Open Records Act. But a couple recent examples have reminded me that transparency in government can be an annoying, pesky, downright difficult concept to follow.

That doesn’t give governments an excuse, however, to ignore what the public legally and rightfully should be able to know.

The first example: The High Plains Library District approved some elements of a settlement agreement in its lawsuit with Weld County at a public meeting on Feb. 3. We asked for a copy of what they had just approved in a unanimous board vote. We were denied.

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