Like most other government bodies, special district boards in Colorado have met over Zoom or some other video-conferencing platform during much of the COVID-19 pandemic. But they’ve done so, state lawmakers were told, not knowing for sure whether state law permitted their virtual meetings.
Legislation creating an online media-literacy resource bank for Colorado public schools appears close to passing the General Assembly over the objections of some Republicans who say the measure is a governmental intrusion on free speech.
The Boulder Daily Camera formally asked the state’s highest court to review the Colorado Court of Appeals’ 2-1 reversal of a district court ruling against the University of Colorado regents for refusing to publicly disclose the names and applications of all six candidates interviewed for the president’s job that went to Mark Kennedy in 2019.
Calling Colorado’s open-government statutes “seriously flawed” regarding the appointment of chief executives, a Colorado Court of Appeals panel decided 2-1 that a district court judge erred in ruling that the University of Colorado regents should have publicly disclosed the names and applications of all six candidates interviewed for the president’s job that went to Mark Kennedy in 2019.
On Jan. 15, Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, Colorado Capitol Press Association, Colorado Press Association, Colorado Broadcasters Association, Colorado News Collaborative, Society of Professional Journalists…
COVID-19 touched nearly every aspect of our lives in 2020 so of course it affected government transparency and public access to courts in Colorado.
When the Fort Collins City Council went into an executive session Oct. 20, the announced purpose was to discuss “broadband issues,” a topic not expressly authorized in the Colorado Open Meetings Law for closed-door deliberations.
This may come as a surprise to Coloradans who have been quoted hundreds or thousands of dollars by cities, state agencies, school districts and other government entities for “research and retrieval” in response to their public records requests: Not every state allows such charges.
Incidents in Colorado and elsewhere show the limitations of HB 19-1119 as a tool of transparency, accountability and for building trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. More could be done to ensure the public knows when officers are accused of misconduct or of using excessive force, how those allegations are investigated and whether and how discipline is imposed.
One positive development in the current historical moment is the growing awareness and recognition – by citizens, legislators, governors, mayors, and even police chiefs – that there can be little or no public trust, a necessary foundation of effective law enforcement, without both accountability and transparency.