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Bring Transparency to Delta County Government
$4,595 raised
92% of $5k goal
46 contributors
0 days left
Ended Feb 3, 2018
Delta County Citizen Report is an apolitical, nonprofit media organization providing information about Delta County, Colorado government activities. Our mission is to promote a transparent, responsive and engaged county government.

Friends, it's time to step up and support our work to improve government transparency in Delta County.

For the past year, Delta County Citizen Report, Inc., has been diligently pursuing the Delta County Board of County Commissioners to improve all aspects of its noticing and conduct of public meetings. Citizen Report has filed letters with the Board, recorded protest at meetings, and engaged in consultation with the County Attorney. Unfortunately, the Board remains resolute in minimizing the importance of public participation and transparency in County government.

Now, we need your help. Citizen Report has filed a lawsuit against the Board of County Commissioners demanding that the County justify its regular, ongoing and openly defended practices of violating opening meetings law and other state statutes designed to bring transparency to government.

We estimate legal fees to total $5,000 and we need your help so that we may fully pursue this action and ensure a transparent, responsive and engaged county government. (In the event we are awarded attorney's fees, your donation will be refunded.)

Specifically, the primary areas of concern include the following transgressions by the Board (taken from our complaint):

  • The procedure of posting agendas without complete access to the public for a full 24 hours;
  • The Board’s failure to adopt a policy requiring public notice of final agendas on the County website;
  • The regular procedure of changing the agendas, including additions to the agenda, with less than 24 hours from the meetings;
  • The use of a ‘Commissioner’s Calendar of Events’ as appropriate public meeting notice for a collective set of meetings or any single meeting;
  • Refusing to acknowledge business meetings involving a quorum of County Commissioners as public meetings, and thereby failing to provide full and adequate public notice of said meetings;
  • The Board’s routine lack of adequate detail in the posted agendas;
  • The Board’s consistent failure to include supporting documentation to constituents and other interested parties;
  • The Board’s inadequate annual budget notification and corollary presentation, including the format of the published budget 

Significant policymaking occurs during the Delta County Board’s unnoticed or improperly noticed meetings. The Board has entered into agreements, developed policy and mandated letters of support for various agencies, organizations and special interest groups all without public input. The Board has recently eliminated opportunities for public involvement including ending the practice of dedicated work sessions every other Monday and evening Town Hall meetings. While constituent time is offered during by-weekly public meetings, Commissioners openly announce that no decisions will be made, further discouraging citizen participation.

Citizen Report earnestly believes that positive change will result from this action affording every citizen of Delta County a government that services its constituency in a welcoming, responsive and lawful manner.

Your 100% tax deductible donation is so appreciated! EIN 84-1642899

For those wanting to mail donations, send to:

Delta County Citizen Report
PO Box 1321
Paonia, CO 81428

For more information, contact Citizen Report at citizenreport1@gmail.com

UPDATE: The Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court decided that Citizen Report could not receive a fair trial in Delta County and has moved us to Mesa County. This is a very unusual move since neither party motioned to move. Nancy Rice, Chief Justice, appointed Valerie Robison to hear our case. The first hearing is scheduled for January 31, 2018.

 

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