Emails reveal illegal meetings

The Pagosa Springs Sun: The Historic Preservation Board (HPB) has been holding illegal meetings via email throughout the last two months.

According to Colorado’s Open Meetings Law (OML), a meeting is defined as “Any kind of gathering convened to discuss public business in person, by telephone, electronically or by other means of communication.”

Through the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA), The SUN requested “emails between a quorum of Historic Preservation Board members for the month of February and March 2017.”

The SUN, in turn, received a stack of printed emails a little higher than one-half inch.

A large number of the emails are different board members emailing the rest of the board members about whether or not they will be able to attend scheduled meetings.

Another large portion of the emails pertain to the letter that the HPB gave to the Pagosa Springs Town Council that pertained to recommendations for the overlook deck and design.

When Associate Planner Rachel Novak emailed updated drafts of the letter to the rest of the board, board members would reply to all of other board members with their recommendations, instead of just emailing Novak.

For example, when Novak emailed an updated draft to the board and requested feedback on March 11, HPB board member Larry Garcia replied to all board members instead of just Novak and provided feedback on the draft.

When Garcia emailed all of the board members and discussed his thoughts, the HPB held an illegal meeting.

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