El Paso County commission possibly violated open meetings law

The Gazette (Colorado Springs): El Paso County commissioners went into closed sessions last year to discuss a ballot question that could have asked voters to allow the county to retain tax dollars, a possible violation of open meetings law. A Colorado Springs taxpayers advocacy group now wants audio of the meetings to be released saying there is no reason for the discussions to have been secret.

The commissioners ultimately decided not to ask voters to retain $4.1 million dollars and instead refunded it, said Ryan Parsell, county spokesman. The commissioners spent $20,500 on a poll to ask voters about how they felt about allowing the county to keep taxes collected in excess of the Taxpayers Bill of Rights cap and determine their own popularity among voters. 

The Springs Taxpayers, an advocacy and educational group, was tipped off about the poll this spring and requested it from the county, said Laura Carno, executive director of the group.

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