Editorial: Think twice before sending

From the Vail Daily:  Let’s put it this way: We know the temptation exceeds the sirens in Greek legends for municipal politicians to, er, share thoughts by email rather more than they should.

Consulting a quorum on thoughts that might lead to decisions constitutes a meeting under state law — even if only hitting the “send” button.

A Pueblo City Council member recently resigned and two more face recall drives over this easy errant use of email. The town of Berthoud’s full town board has a similar issue with some email discussion about a former town board member’s fitness for appointment to the town’s planning commission.

This seems like a good time to review the law with respect to electronic meetings, as well as over the phone or in person with a quorum present in informal settings. Any of these discussions about municipal business requires 24-hour notice to the public beforehand.

Another dodge that we’ve seen locally is “daisy chaining” — that is, one elected official on a body calls or emails another, who emails another, and eventually everyone hears back on what everyone else is thinking outside of pesky public observation.

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