Court battle to determine if Basalt council properly held closed-door meetings

The Aspen Times: The judge in a court battle over the propriety of Basalt Town Council’s executive sessions and retention of public records opened the hearing Thursday with terse questioning over the need for the litigation.

Eagle County District Judge Russell Granger asked the four attorneys — two for the town government and two for citizen Ted Guy, who filed the lawsuit — if they tried “talking” out the issues and finding a resolution rather than spending “thousands and thousands of dollars” in the fight.

Granger also questioned what the remedy would be if Guy prevailed and proved that the Town Council held improper executive sessions, which are closed to the public, and didn’t retain all the records as required.

“What is it you’re really seeking?” Granger asked Guy’s attorneys, Steve Zansberg and Michael Beylkin.

He said he hopes the dispute doesn’t just boil down to which side will have to pay the other’s legal fees.

“When attorneys litigate for sake of attorneys’ fees, that’s not going to go over well,” the judge said.

Zansberg said a ruling that the town is conducting public business improperly and forcing corrections is the desired remedy.

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