Daily Sentinel asks Grand Junction for audiotape of city council executive session

From The Daily Sentinel (Grand Junction):  An attorney for The Daily Sentinel claims the Grand Junction City Council violated the state’s open meetings law when it met in an executive session last month to discuss City Manager Rich Englehart’s possible resignation and severance package.

In a letter sent on Tuesday to City Attorney John Shaver, Colorado Press Association attorney Steve Zansberg asked the city to release a copy of the audio recording of the June 20 meeting to the Sentinel.

Zansberg, an attorney who specializes in First Amendment law and represents members of the Colorado Press Association, including the Sentinel, argued that the Colorado Open Meetings Law requires the City Council not only to cite the statutory basis for holding an executive session, but also “the particular matter to be discussed in as much detail as possible without undermining the purpose for which the executive session is authorized.” When the council met in executive session on June 20, the public notice stated only that the council was meeting to discuss a “personnel matter.”

Zansberg said the council could have identified the city manager or the possible resignation of a city employee as the matter to be discussed in the private meeting without undermining the purpose of the meeting.

Zansberg also contended the council illegally took action in the executive session, saying it was evident that the council had already discussed and decided to accept Englehart’s resignation and offer him severance “prior to its merely voting in public to do so.”

Visit The Daily Sentinel for more.

Subscribe to Our Blog