Editorial: ‘Is this a hill you want to die on?’

The Pagosa Springs SUN: The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) ended last year by demonstrating a complete lack of respect for the law and total disregard for the public’s right to know.

The commissioners chose a candidate to be the new county attorney, the second-highest-paid county employee, while in executive session, which is against the law.

It all started in November, when the commissioners held two executive sessions to interview applicants for a new county attorney.
Then, in December, The SUN came across an agenda item which stated “the County Commissioners decided to offer the position of County Attorney to Todd Weaver.”

During that meeting, then Interim Archuleta County Attorney Todd Starr appeared to make an attempt to cover for the BoCC when he contradicted that agenda language by explaining that the board never made a decision to hire Weaver. He also said the board had instructed a negotiator and the range of that negotiation.

We beg to differ that there was not a decision already made. There was obviously a prior decision because Weaver had already been offered the job and he had already signed the contract.

The executive session in question was not called for the purpose of matters that may be subject to negotiation or to instruct negotiators, which, under state law, must be specifically cited to allow for such matters to be discussed.

When Wadley was asked just when the board directed him to go into talks with Weaver, Wadley said, “I can’t remember the date, … but it was done … it’s in the minutes, it’s in the minutes somewhere.”

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