Editorial: Stonewalling on public records

From The Denver Post:  In Colorado, a public employee’s salary is public information — that simple fact should be enough to convince any government agency to release salary information if asked.

Yet, that was not the case in Adams County School District 50 in Westminster, which has long been touted as the district with the highest base salaries for teachers in the metro area.

A simple request by former school board president Marilyn Flachman about how much the district is paying its 1,000 employees was confoundingly met with entrenched resistance by the district … for more than five months.

Flachman initially submitted her request in February. Over the next five months, she had to file four open records requests and needed an attorney to wrestle with the district, which eventually charged her $745.50 for nearly 3,000 copies after initially demanding $4,000.

Flachman asked Jeffrey Roberts, executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition: “What citizen would ask for (public records) if they knew they’d have to wait five months, have to get an attorney, be quoted $4,000 in fees,” she asked. “It’s ridiculous.”

Yes, it is.

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