Snowmass council to vote on contract in public

From the Snowmass Sun: A discussion and vote to ratify Snowmass Village’s contract with town manager Gary Suiter was set for the Feb. 3 Town Council meeting after a query by this newspaper.

Suiter, who has been interim town manager since August, proposed a contract extending his services that the council authorized Mayor Bill Boineau to sign during an executive session on Jan. 21. That was after the council was supposed to vote on a different contract at its Jan. 6 meeting, when it continued the discussion after another lengthy executive session.

Steve Zansberg, an attorney and president of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, said that the town of Snowmass Village might be in violation of the open-meetings law without a public discussion and vote. The Town Council is limited by law as to what can be discussed in executive session. Topics include personnel matters, seeking advice from the town attorney and matters subject to negotiation, according to the municipal code. The council cannot adopt any policy, position, resolution, rule, regulation or formal action during an executive session.

“It sounds to me that they made a decision in executive session that they’re not lawfully allowed to have made,” said Zansberg, who is president of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition. “It’s pretty clear that if they were meeting to approve the prior agreement, they noticed it for discussion and voting; they acknowledged that they needed to do that in a public meeting.”

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