Estes Valley Planning Commission violated Sunshine Law, town administrator says

Estes Park Trail-Gazette: Estes Park Town Administrator Frank Lancaster sent out a public email today notifying the Town Board of Trustees that there was a violation of the Colorado Sunshine Law by the Estes Valley Planning Commission.

The email by Lancaster stated that the EVPC had been conducting a discussion of public policy via email outside of a required advertised public meeting. The Colorado Sunshine Law states that any meetings of two or more members of the public body where public business is discussed needs to be open to the public and advertised beforehand.

The email in violation was sent by EVPC Chair Russ Schneider to all members of the Commission, asking if a policy restricted big game hunting should be developed. The email was responded to by Commissioners Betty Hull and Bob Leavitt.

The email went onto the Town’s server, which is monitored by staff, and was brought to Lancaster’s attention on Friday. In the email pointing out the violation, Lancaster said that the EVPC had been cautioned on several occasions in the past about conducting meetings through emails by Community Development Director Randy Hunt, Town Attorney Greg White and himself.

“There have been times in the past where they have started to trade emails back and forth on certain subjects,” Lancaster said. “I have informed them that they were getting close to that line before.

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