Berthoud town board members divided over whether a trustee violated the open meetings law

Reporter-Herald (Loveland): Members of the Berthoud Town Board, both current and elected, are divided over whether a member of their board violated Colorado open meetings law to discuss next steps following the April 3 election.

The “next step” is the selection of a fourth new member of the Town Board to fill the new mayor’s soon-to-be-vacant seat. Will Karspeck won the mayoral seat by about a two-thirds majority over opponent Jeff Hindman, and voters elected Maureen Dower, Tim Hardy and Pete Tomassi to the currently open board seats.

Since both Karspeck and Hindman have served on the Town Board since 2016 with terms concluding in 2020, board members knew they would soon need to find someone to fill the mayor-elect’s seat and serve the remaining two years of his term, regardless of the outcome of the race.

Controversy has emerged over the motivations of Trustee Brian Laak, who last week talked by phone with Hindman, Dower, Hardy and Tomassi about the possibility of replacing Karspeck with Paul Alaback, who served as a Berthoud trustee until 2016. Alaback was not a candidate in the 2018 municipal election.

To Laak, he was merely trying to educate the new board members about their options, including a candidate he was “genuinely excited about,” he said. To trustee-elect Tomassi, who received a call the morning of April 6, Laak was attempting to stack the vote in favor of Alaback, and doing so with a quorum of trustees outside of public meeting.

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