DELTA COUNTY, CO — Today, Delta County Citizen Report (DCCR), an apolitical, nonprofit media organization reporting on Delta County, Colorado government activities, moved to vacate a temporary protection order hearing in its lawsuit against Delta County Commissioners. DCCR believes this action will provide the time for direct negotiations with the Commissioners before a permanent protection order hearing date on April 6th, 1:30pm-5:00pm in Mesa County Court.
After Commissioners moved their public posting location this past January from a hallway inside the county courthouse to the building’s front entrance, DCCR’s board reached out to the county for the chance to work collaboratively to improve government transparency and open meeting practices.
“Our board felt that the county made a step in the right direction by moving their posting site to a truly public place that could be accessed day or night, and over the weekends,” said lead blogger and DCCR President, JoAnn Kalenak. “ We’re happy about the change and we’re excited for the chance to come together with the County to resolve some of our other concerns without the need of going on to trial.”
After a special meeting held in executive session on January 25, 2018, Commissioners and County Attorney, John Baier, agreed to set up meetings with DCCR to discuss further changes to the county’s open meeting processes.
A few of the things DCCR would like to see:
- The County website is included as an official posting site and not just as “a courtesy when time and technology allows,” as stated by County Administrator Robbie LeValley.
- An official “no later than” posting time so the public knows when agendas will be available.
- Additional agenda public posting locations including the North Fork Annex and local public libraries.
- Public documents intended to be entered into the record at public meetings be available online at least 24 hours prior to each meeting.
- All Commissioner agenda action items and business will be represented by topic and placed under a specific, scheduled time.
- No changes and/or additions made to an agenda within the 24-hour notice period will be allowed.
- All known presenters will be identified on the agenda 24-hours prior to the meeting excluding drop-in constituents.
- All meetings with two or more Commissioners to discuss county business must be considered public meetings and noticed individually as public meetings a minimum 24 hours prior to the meeting.
- Commissioner’s commitment to an improved, user-friendly budget report and presentation.
DCCR filed suit against Commissioners on Dec. 22, 2017 alleging violations of state statutes designed to promote transparency in government. The Colorado Supreme Court ordered the case moved to Mesa County citing a “conflict of interest” within Delta County’s judicial body.
Since November 2016, Citizen Report has blogged on County Commissioner public meetings, county projects, county development plans, county policies, and county budget and finance. The goal of the organization is to help ensure that county government is properly serving all Delta County residents and its objective is to promote a transparent, responsive and engaged county government.
Visit www.citizenreport.info for more information.
JoAnn Kalenak, Senior Blogger/DCCR Board President