Editorial: CMC’s board shouldn’t muzzle its members

From the Post Independent (Glenwood Springs):  This is pretty simple. The Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees is not a private body and mustn’t behave like one.

Trustees are elected and are the public’s only voice in allocating nearly $47 million that residents of six counties pay in property taxes that provide two-thirds of the college’s budget.

It is wrong and wrongheaded for these unpaid trustees to be limited in what they can tell their constituents about their work and their views. So the very idea of censuring an elected official for sharing with the public opinions on issues before the board is jaw-droppingly troubling.

But the board in June seriously considered censuring Trustee Mary Ellen Denomy of Battlement Mesa over letters she wrote to western Colorado editors explaining why she would vote against budget provisions.

A censure motion by Summit County Trustee Patricia Theobald was tabled only after Board President Glenn Davis demanded that Denomy pledge not to write more letters to the editor before an upcoming board retreat. Davis says that whether the motion is revived depends on how discussions go at the retreat.

The board has a policy, most recently revised in 2014 on a 5-1 vote, that after a decision, “each board member supports the final determination of the board concerning any particular matter, regardless of the member’s personal position concerning such matter.”

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