Russell Weisfield and the city of Arvada have settled a lawsuit over Arvada’s use of secret ballots to eliminate candidates for a vacant city council seat.
The Colorado Supreme Court has been asked to review a state Court of Appeals decision that reinstated an Arvada resident’s lawsuit against his city for using secret ballots to fill a city council vacancy.
An Arvada resident who sued his city for using secret ballots to fill a council vacancy can indeed show that he was injured by the closed-door process, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in overturning a district judge’s decision to dismiss the case.
Russell Weisfield, whose lawsuit over the use of secret ballots by the Arvada City Council led to a change in the state Open Meetings Law last year, won the Colorado Press Association’s “Friend of the First” award.
For the CFOIC, revisiting 2014 reveals a somewhat troubling string of stories about issues and problems affecting government transparency in Colorado. Consider them one by one and you might not be all that concerned. But put them in a list and you could reasonably conclude that open government in the Centennial State is still a work in progress.
The Arvada resident who sued his city for using secret ballots to fill a vacant council seat has appealed a judge’s ruling that he lacked legal standing to challenge Arvada for violating Colorado’s Open Meetings Law.
Two months after a Jefferson County judge dismissed a citizen’s lawsuit against Arvada for using secret ballots to replace a City Council member, the governor signed legislation to ensure that anyone can legally challenge violations of Colorado’s Open Meetings Law.
Fees for public records, protecting the confidential sources of journalists, the Open Meetings Law. These weren’t the topics that grabbed the biggest headlines during the during the 2014 legislative session. But that doesn’t diminish their importance.
Rachel Zenzinger’s appointment to the Colorado Senate last fall created a vacancy on the Arvada City Council that was filled in January using secret ballots to eliminate candidates. On Thursday, Sen. Zenzinger explained why she is now sponsoring legislation making it “crystal clear” that any person has legal standing to challenge violations of Colorado’s Open Meetings Law.