Editorial: Pueblo email scandal a reason to care about Sunshine Week

From The Pueblo Chieftain: TODAY IS the start of Sunshine Week. Appropriate, given the forecast, don’t you think?

But, despite its name, Sunshine Week has nothing to do with the weather. Rather, it’s a national effort to understand, educate about and promote dialogue on the importance of open government. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the freedom of public information.

We know what you’re thinking: “Great. How does this apply to me?”

Consider one of the major news events that rocked Pueblo in recent months.

Last year, four city or county leaders became embroiled in an email-based scandal. A Chieftain-led review of more than 1,000 pages of the electronic messages revealed then-council President Sandy Daff and former members Ami Nawrocki and Chris Kaufman were illegally setting city policy behind closed doors. The trio were receiving counsel from the county’s former transportation director, Greg Severance, on a barrage of city issues, including illegal dumping and a plan to repurpose the city’s half-cent sales tax for job creation.

Enraged residents engaged with their officials via packed City Council meetings, letters to the editor and even a special recall election against two of the three members. Eventually, all three council members resigned their posts and Mr. Severance lost his job.

Visit The Pueblo Chieftain for more.

Subscribe to Our Blog