Opinion: Kept in the dark at light speed

Canyon Courier (Evergreen): When my sister and I were young, we loved the 1960s space opera “Lost in Space.” And, without a doubt, our favorite episode involved various members of the wandering Robinson family silently disappearing from the Jupiter 2 one at a time, in apparent defiance of the laws of physics.

In fact, every member of the crew vanished until just two remained — and their low-tech solution as the ship careened through the galaxy at light speed was to tie themselves together with a length of rope. Then, one turned a corner, and the rope went slack.

If you think that plot line was totally predictable, I certainly didn’t realize at the time it would predict my experiences as editor of these newspapers for the past 11 years. But sure enough, as we have careened through the political landscape of Jefferson County during the last decade, certain community leaders have disappeared without a sound. Fire chiefs, rec district directors, school superintendents —these highly visible public figures have vanished in defiance of the spirit of a different law: the Colorado Open Meetings statute.

In this week’s episode, Jeffco Schools Superintendent Dan McMinimee apparently will be the latest victim of this eerie phenomenon. McMinimee is about to quietly become totally transparent, despite the fact that our current school board members, most of whom campaigned on a platform of transparency in government, have yet to publicly discuss or vote on his ouster.

Some background: McMinimee was hired by the three conservatives who were elected to the Jeffco school board in 2013, and who were promptly recalled in the November 2015 election. Few expected McMinimee to survive long with the again-liberal board, but I was hoping we wouldn’t once again have to run a story about a key community leader leaving without first reporting on a public discussion of the issue.

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