Colorado Springs won’t release emails showing how proposed Broadmoor land swap evolved

From the Colorado Springs Independent:  It’s impossible to know how negotiations commenced over the City of Colorado Springs’ proposed land swap with The Broadmoor: The city refuses to release any written communications with the resort that took place prior to Dec. 29, 2015. The Independent’s April 12 public records request sought all correspondence between the two parties since the genesis of the trade.

Parks Director Karen Palus has said talks began during former Mayor Steve Bach’s term and continued after Mayor John Suthers took office last June. She’s also said the city put Strawberry Fields open space — the most controversial piece of the swap — into play.

Now, the city says although it ordered an appraisal on Sept. 4 of the parcel it terms the “North Cheyenne Cañon Park Disposal Project,” all correspondence prior to Dec. 29 is protected under Colorado Open Records Act exemptions. Those include attorney-client communications, attorney work product, draft documents that constitute work product prepared for an elected official, and the deliberative process privilege.

The 215 pages of emails the city has released to the Indy, at a charge of $205, show a close working relationship between city officials and resort personnel who shared a common cause in closing the deal.

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