Young: These public servants think the public should stay out of their business

Colorado Newsline: Colorado state agencies have a well-earned reputation for anti-transparent behavior. Throughout state government records are regularly destroyed, and the pandemic has exposed persistent disdain for transparency in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

But an agency within the health department — the Air Pollution Control Division — has refined antipathy to open government to near-Soviet perfection. This is an agency populated by public servants whose salaries are paid with taxpayer money and who work on behalf of Coloradans. But top managers have determined that members of the public are pests. They have decided they are exempt from scrutiny. They think they can get away with an utter refusal to answer questions about what they’re doing with public resources. They’re happy to take a paycheck from us and perform tasks in our name but then tell us to scram if we watch them too closely.

At the agency in charge of controlling air pollution, the attitude toward the public is: “Nothing to see here.”

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