An Arvada resident who sued his city for using secret ballots to fill a council vacancy can indeed show that he was injured by the closed-door process, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in overturning a district judge’s decision to dismiss the case.
Open Meetings Laws
How is it OK for Jeffco school district and union negotiators to meet privately? Didn’t 70 percent of Colorado voters last Election Day approve Proposition 104, requiring open collective bargaining negotiations in Colorado school districts?
The $25 billion budget bill that passed the Colorado Senate includes a relatively miniscule appropriation for a new position in the Attorney General’s office to help with a growing number of requests for public records.
What do you get when you ask three lawyers to discuss the ambiguous aspects of the Colorado Open Records Act and the state’s Sunshine (open meetings) Law? The answer is not four opinions.
Russell Weisfield, whose lawsuit over the use of secret ballots by the Arvada City Council led to a change in the state Open Meetings Law last year, won the Colorado Press Association’s “Friend of the First” award.
For the CFOIC, revisiting 2014 reveals a somewhat troubling string of stories about issues and problems affecting government transparency in Colorado. Consider them one by one and you might not be all that concerned. But put them in a list and you could reasonably conclude that open government in the Centennial State is still a work in progress.
With possible recounts no longer going forward in three counties, the 2014 election is essentially in the books. But a question lingers: Should county canvass boards, those groups of registered voters appointed to certify election results, be subject to Colorado’s Sunshine Law?
Plenty of evidence suggests that CSU’s student government is subject to the Sunshine Law and, therefore, a reporter for the student newspaper should not have been barred from a hearing to impeach a student senator.
Reporter Teresa Benns has endured verbal attacks and threats of physical violence while documenting and commenting on the workings and failings of government in Saguache County and the small town of Center. She perseveres because it’s her duty, she said, accepting the CFOIC’s Jean Otto Friend of Freedom Award.
To help parents, teachers, students and taxpayers better understand how to use the Colorado Open Records Act and the state’s Open Meetings Law, the CFOIC and Chalkbeat Colorado teamed up to present a lively and informative panel discussion: “Transparency 101: How to exercise your rights to information and open meetings in your school district.”