Colorado’s Sunshine Law does not require members of an elected public board to discuss the censure of a fellow board member in an open meeting, a judge has ruled.
Over the past two decades, the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition and its member organizations and board members have achieved numerous successes both in amending the Colorado Open Meetings Law and in applying it in lawsuits to ensure compliance by governmental bodies.
For those concerned about access to government records in Colorado, the 2022 legislative session was notable for what didn’t happen — the introduction of a bill addressing frustrating issues such as expensive fees, email retention and slow responses by law enforcement agencies.
Responding in part to a recent court ruling in Larimer County, state lawmakers want to add an exception to Colorado’s Sunshine Law that lets school board members meet behind closed doors to interview superintendent finalists, rank them, and instruct staff to begin contract negotiations with one or more.
A judge recently ordered the public disclosure of a school board executive session recording because board members did not take an “affirmative vote” before convening the private online meeting, as the Colorado Open Meetings Law requires.
Is it legal for a Colorado school board to select finalists for a superintendent’s job while meeting behind closed doors?
How detailed must minutes be? The open meetings law, aka the Sunshine Law, says little about that — only that minutes should reflect the topic of any closed-door executive sessions and the outcome of any secret-ballot votes to choose the leadership of a public body.
In a precedent-setting ruling, the Colorado Court of Appeals determined that Basalt town councilors violated the Colorado Open Meetings Law by convening four executive sessions to discuss legal and personnel matters without telling the public specifically what they would be talking about.
The Colorado Court of Appeals heard arguments via web conference in a case that focuses on what city councils and other government boards must tell the public prior to convening a closed-door meeting.
A case before the Colorado Court of Appeals focuses on what city councils and other government boards must tell the public before they meet in private.