‘My goal was just to spray a little Windex on transparency,’ says CFOIC award winner

Left Hand Valley Courier (Niwot): In late 2017, Gunbarrel resident Kristin Bjornsen was at an impasse. Following a “spectacular loss” in her lawsuit against Boulder County over violations of Colorado’s sunshine laws, the full-time mother-of-two was torn on whether to proceed with a costly and time-consuming appeal or whether to leave the legal battle for government transparency to more seasoned professionals.

“On the one hand I felt like the issues were clear, and I felt like I had clarity if I could just clear away the muddle around them,” she said of her pro se suit against the Board of County Commissioners and Boulder County Housing Authority alleging breaches of the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) and Open Meetings Law (COML) during the Twin Lakes open space debate. “But on the other hand, just about every single person I know-friends and family and the 10 attorneys I talked to-almost universally they said, ‘Don’t pursue this; your chances are almost impossible’.”

Bjornsen wrestled with the decision for weeks, and then one Sunday, she got a sign that she didn’t even know she was looking for.

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