Some wildlife advocates are unhappy with a new policy that bars them from audio and video recording, as well as livestreaming, meetings held by a group advising the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission on a plan to reintroduce and manage gray wolves.
Open Meetings Laws
For those concerned about access to government records in Colorado, the 2022 legislative session was notable for what didn’t happen — the introduction of a bill addressing frustrating issues such as expensive fees, email retention and slow responses by law enforcement agencies.
Remote testimony on bills, a positive outgrowth of the COVID-19 pandemic, likely will remain an option for the public during future sessions of the Colorado General Assembly.
A Teller County District Court judge ordered the Woodland Park school board to comply with the Colorado Open Meetings Law “by clearly, honestly and forthrightly” listing future agenda items pertaining to a charter school’s application to the district.
Anchor Kyle Clark and the company that owns 9NEWS are suing the Douglas County School District’s records custodian for refusing to disclose a Colorado Open Records Act request that sought the names of teachers who called in sick Feb. 3 to protest actions by majority members of the school board.
Several of the 24 entries stood out as glaring illustrations of the barriers and attitudes journalists and members of the public sometimes encounter when they request government records or otherwise try to monitor what their public officials are doing.
The Douglas County board of education isn’t the only Colorado school board recently accused of skirting the state’s sunshine laws. That’s why the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition made school board transparency the topic of its 2022 Sunshine Week panel.
Responding in part to a recent court ruling in Larimer County, state lawmakers want to add an exception to Colorado’s Sunshine Law that lets school board members meet behind closed doors to interview superintendent finalists, rank them, and instruct staff to begin contract negotiations with one or more.
What’s your favorite (or should we say least favorite) example from the past two or three years of someone blatantly obstructing the public’s right to know in Colorado? It could involve a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request, a Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act (CCJRA) request, access to a meeting under the Colorado Open Meetings Law, or access to the court system.
Revising rules for the legislature’s Committee on Legal Services for the first time since 1981, Colorado lawmakers proposed an open-ended exception to the Sunshine Law that would let the committee make decisions by email — no public meeting required.