Letter: What are they hiding? | PostIndependent.com

Letter: What are they hiding?

Refusing to provide the public with information concerning the projected cost for phase one of the Seventh Street sewer project should raise the question as to what the council is hiding. Citizens deserve to know exactly what the council is planning and at what cost.

The council could take a lesson from the CDOT, which did an excellent job of keeping Glenwood residents informed of the project cost and the progress of the bridge project. Keeping silent about the estimated cost of the project leads one to wonder what they do not want the residents to know. It is our tax dollars, and we have a right to know how they are being spent.

Not making public the estimated cost of a public project may be putting the council in violation of state laws. The laws I am referring to are the Colorado Open Records law (CORA) and open meetings law (Sunshine Law). A review of these laws showed that there is no apparent reason to keep the estimated cost of this project from the public. 

The Colorado Sunshine Law states that all meetings of two or more members of any state public body where any public business is discussed must be open to the public. The estimated cost of this project must have been discussed by the council, and it should have been discussed at a public meeting. Discussing the estimated cost of a public project does not meet the requirement of an executive session.

Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) declared that it is the public policy of the state that all public records shall be open for inspection by any person at reasonable times, except as provided in part 2 or as otherwise specifically provided by law.  The estimated cost of a public project is not protected in part 2.

The council should be responsible for keeping the public informed of its actions, and it should be complying with state law.

Joe O’Donnell

Glenwood Springs

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