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.”
Open Meetings Laws
The Arvada resident who sued his city for using secret ballots to fill a vacant council seat has appealed a judge’s ruling that he lacked legal standing to challenge Arvada for violating Colorado’s Open Meetings Law.
A committee of state lawmakers finalized the “Blue Book” wording that explains Proposition 104, a statewide ballot initiative that would require school boards in Colorado to let the public observe collective bargaining negotiations. One aspect of the proposal that remains murky, however, is whether it would require school boards to discuss their negotiation strategies in public.
Englewood’s announcement of a new city manager, more than a week before the City Council is scheduled to vote during a public meeting, is an admission that it violated the state’s Open Meetings Law, says CFOIC President Steve Zansberg.
Colorado’s Sunshine Law defines a meeting as “any kind of gathering, convened to discuss public business, in person, by telephone, electronically, or by (any) other means of communication.” This includes emailing, texting, tweeting, instant messaging, Facebook messaging, Snapchatting and forms of communication that haven’t been invented yet.
A statewide initiative that would require school boards to let the public observe collective bargaining negotiations will appear on the Nov. 4 general election ballot, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office announced.
Proponents are circulating petitions for Initiative 124, which would expand Colorado’s Sunshine Law by requiring school boards to let the public observe collective bargaining negotiations.
Some governmental entities in Colorado refuse to release meeting minutes to the public until they are officially approved at the next board meeting, which could be weeks away. Is that how it’s supposed to work?
Two months after a Jefferson County judge dismissed a citizen’s lawsuit against Arvada for using secret ballots to replace a City Council member, the governor signed legislation to ensure that anyone can legally challenge violations of Colorado’s Open Meetings Law.
Fees for public records, protecting the confidential sources of journalists, the Open Meetings Law. These weren’t the topics that grabbed the biggest headlines during the during the 2014 legislative session. But that doesn’t diminish their importance.