Colorado Mountain College board defers talk about conflicts, confidentiality
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The board of trustees for Colorado Mountain College on Wednesday came close to going behind closed doors for a debate about conflicts of interest among board members, questions about the minutes of a previous meeting and concerns about the exact nature of a confidentiality agreement with a former college president.
But after Trustee Kathy Goudy pointed out that they had the wrong attorney at the meeting for a briefing about the legal points involved with those topics, the closed meeting was scuttled for the time being.
The question may, however, be taken up again at the next board meeting, in November, involving such interrelated topics as:
• What board members can and cannot say with regard to a severance agreement with recently departed CMC president Stan Jensen
• And corrections to the Aug. 1 meeting minutes, which some trustees feel do not accurately reflect what was said during open session at that meeting about severance negotiations between Jensen and board chair Glenn Davis.
Trustee Bob Taylor, anticipating the debate about the minutes from the Aug. 1 board meeting and the other issues, moved shortly after noon that the board go into its second executive session of the day for the discussion.
Trustee Ken Brenner of Steamboat Springs asked why Taylor felt an executive session was needed, noting that the questions about the minutes will be hard to answer because the board does not audiotape its open sessions, only its executive sessions.
“We wouldn’t be having this discussion if we’d recorded the Aug. 1 meeting,” Brenner declared.
Davis concurred and said that “from this point on we will be recording these meetings.” He then supported Taylor’s motion that the board move behind closed doors.
A reporter for the Post Independent objected to the closed session, arguing that none of the topics mentioned by Taylor were appropriate under state laws governing executive sessions.
Although the board’s attorney, Glen Chadwick, advised the trustees that they should move into executive session, some on the board were not so sure it was advisable.
Trustee Goudy, who is an attorney, noted that for any discussion about a confidentiality agreement signed with former CMC president Stan Jensen ought to be handled by the attorney who was hired to guide the severance negotiations, Tim Whitsitt of Carbondale.
After some discussion about Whitsitt and other issues, Taylor withdrew his motion to go into executive session, and it was agreed that the matter be deferred until the next meeting.
The vote in favor of that motion was 5-1, with Brenner voting no.
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