Editorial: Public officials must meet high standards of transparency

The Greeley Tribune: When a Tribune reporter asked Milliken Town Attorney Linda Michelle about a complaint that the town board violated open meetings laws by meeting in secret to discuss the board’s vacancy, she offered this disclaimer: “Until there’s a court that says there’s a violation, there isn’t a violation.”

We’ll grant that’s true. We’ll also point out it’s not a good look for officials who work on behalf of the public.

After the board’s April 11 meeting, four town board members stayed behind to discuss the intricacies of the decision about how to fill a vacancy on the board, according to Linda Measner, a former town board member who lost her re-election bid and witnessed some of the conversation.

We know the decision about filling the vacancy is a complicated one. Still, it makes us uncomfortable to think the kind of discussion the board members had may have been the kind residents should be privy to if they’re interested. That’s why open meetings laws exist.

We’ve long said our democracy functions best when the public’s business is done in public. We also believe officials who work on behalf of the public have an obligation to ensure that standard of transparency is met.

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