I have been accused by a group of town citizens that I violated the open meeting law, also known as the Sunshine Law. I was first accused in the DCI July 13, 2016. All correct procedures were followed for an executive meeting that was held on July 6. This is all recorded in the minutes of the meetings for June 15 and July 6, 2016. These meeting minutes have been approved with a unanimous vote by the town council. Therefore no violation was committed.
The second so-called violation was published after the July 6 meeting. After contacting the town attorney asking for legal advice. Because the incident occurred on the job, I conferred with the town attorney. After talking to each council member individually via the phone, they all agreed that the town should support Cally in the court case. The town attorney did not request any formal action. This action was not in violation of the open meetings, aka Sunshine Law. There was never more than two elected officials in a room or together at any time. As I have stated, it was one-on-one conversation by telephone. It was not a conference call.
As far as town money being spent by the town, payment of bills are presented to the council at the first meeting of the month and voted on by the council members and approved for payment. No funds are paid until such action has taken place. All of this information has been recorded in our minutes of all meetings and are available for review by the public. I hope that this clears up the rumors that are going around town.
To recall the mayor is forcing the town to spend more money on legal fees and election fees. These monies could be spent to keep our community running. When a recall petition or anything else of this kind is presented to the town, they are then sent to the town attorney for his advice, before the town acts on any situation. Therefore, the attorney must be paid. I appreciate all of those who support me as mayor. The council and I look forward to serving you for the remainder of our terms.
(Editor's note: After consulting with the Colorado Press Association and the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, the Delta County Independent maintains that, in this matter, Crawford Town Council has not acted in accordance with state Sunshine Laws. The entire council has a responsibility to be open and transparent, and not conduct town business via one-on-one phone calls or emails.)
The Hotchkiss-Crawford Historial Society will host its annual meeting on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 2:00 at the Memorial Hall in Hotchkiss. There will be music, refreshments and a guest speaker, Robert Sibernagel. He is well known in the area as he writes regional history columns for The Daily Sentinel. He was formerly the editorial page editor for that paper for 19 years.