Settlement ends library district’s suit against Elbert Co. for trying to ‘control’ trustee selection

Elbert County News: A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by Pines and Plains Libraries against the Elbert County Board of County Commissioners.

A key part of the settlement is the creation of an intergovernmental agreement between the two entities.

Elbert County’s library district filed the lawsuit in January in opposition to a policy adopted by the board of commissioners a month earlier. That policy sought to “control the qualifications, appointment, tenure and termination of the library district’s board of trustees,” library officials stated at the time. The district argued that the Colorado Library Law places those subjects beyond the authority of the board of county commissioners.

“The Trustee selection process required in the Policy is contrary to the Library Law,” stated the complaint, which was filed in district court in Kiowa. “The BOCC’s sole authority under the Library Law is to ratify or reject a candidate recommended to the Board.”

County commissioners contend the policy did not place restrictions on whom the library trustees could nominate.

“It simply ensures careful scrutiny and unanimity from the BOCC if a nominee doesn’t meet the broad requirements set for appointment to any of the county’s boards, commissions or committees,” the county stated in a January news release.

Documents show that the settlement, dated June 13, supersedes the appointments policy the board of commissioners, or BOCC, passed in December.

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