August 1st BOCC Meeting: Board Attorney Admits Violations of Executive Session Laws

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

-August 1, 2017
by Jackie Bubis, Reporter

The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
For the second day in a row, the meeting began with Louis “Perry Mason” Devanney asking pointed questions of the Board, this time of Attorney Smith. His questions revolved around the statutory reasons for Executive Sessions. Smith answered that there were statutory reasons. Those reasons included legal advice, personnel issues, etc. Smith stated that “personnel issues should be discussed in executive session unless the person being discussed has made a specific request to have an open meeting.” Mr. Devanney belabored the point with Mr. Smith that all the executive sessions that this Board has had since January (Note: their estimate was 10 of them – by my count there were 17) were proper and necessary. The Sentinel reporter asked a follow up question of Mr. Smith. “On each of the executive sessions regarding personnel since the new Board was seated (there have been nine) was the person being discussed notified beforehand so he could choose an open meeting?” Mr. Smith replied that the person had been there in one case but was not invited the other eight times. (Editor/GG: Not notifying the subject of a “personnel” based Executive Session 24 hours in advance so the person can exercise their statutory rights on whether they want to attend, not attend, or make the session public is a DIRECT VIOLATION of the Open Meetings Law. These are serious violations of the employees’ rights under Colorado law that do not seem to bother Attorney Smith or the BOCC. This is just another example of the lack of character and honesty of the BOCC. This problem must be rectified.)

Mr. Kattnig stressed that all of the executive sessions for personnel issues “have been resolved satisfactorily for the parties concerned.” (Does this include the meetings regarding Robin Young?)
As he did yesterday, Mr. Devanney left the meeting after asking his questions.
Another citizen brought problems with road conditions on Keepsake Loop to the BOCC’s attention. The matter was later passed on to Roger Squire when his portion of the meeting arrived.
Commissioner Items
Mrs. Hood has been interviewing for the office manager position in the extension office.
Mr. Printz had a meeting with the Public Health Nurse and there has been a contract signed for medical control for Public Health.
Mr. Kattnig updated the Board on ongoing work being done today by Road and Bridge pulling debris from Hardscrabble Creek. He also stated that South Hardscrabble Road, which they were hoping to reopen in the Fall, (it has been closed since the fire), has been totally washed out in places. He reported that Cindy Howard is working on the timeline for last Saturday’s flooding with regards to E-911 and flood alerts.
Attorney Items
Mr. Smith will have a resolution for tomorrow’s meeting on the new Colorado Open Meetings statutes.
Old Business
The Board approved the VALE (Victim’s Assistance Law Enforcement) grant for 2018 for $7,500.
Mr. Printz reported that the Wetmore Community Center is ready for the final walkthrough.
Staff Reports
Rusty Christensen gave the Landfill Report. He believes that the $14K for a new compactor that is budgeted may not be needed. The Board authorized him to start looking for a used truck for his use as he has been driving his personal vehicle for over a month. Mrs. Hood suggested that the hours for the landfill be posted on the gate. (Note: the landfill hours have not changed as the courthouse hours have.)
Dawna Hobby gave the HR/Finance report. Prior to budget time, all department heads will be sent a memo that employee compensation for 2018 may be increased at “up to” three percent. The paperwork is ready and the employee reviews will begin shortly. Each commissioner will work with the departments he or she is over. Mr. Kattnig stressed that the reasons for the upcoming employee reviews was not a negative thing but would be used to assess strengths and weaknesses.
Roger Squire reported that the work on debris removal from Hardscrabble Creek is going well and should be done today. He also asked about weed spraying and clarified that Fremont County will be spraying for us for $5K. Mrs. Hood specified that our weed board is not active at this time.
Cindy Howard gave the OEM report. The Emergency Management Performance Grant has yielded 20% more than last year for Custer County. Work is nearly finished on the Emergency Operations Plan and all entities will now be going through it with edits. Mr. Printz asked Ms. Howard about FEMA with regards to building codes. She stated that on a preliminary grant application the question was asked whether building codes were in place. She said she’d get more information for him before the August 10th meeting. She did suggest that sometimes people needed a “nudge” to make the proper decisions.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:40 a.m.