Daily Press staff: CDP to provide event access others won’t

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There are aspects of tonight’s State of the County event that are contrary to public good.

In the spirit of full disclosure, you should know the Craig Daily Press is a co-sponsor of the event, which brings local leaders together to speak with the public about the last year of decisions, projects and other areas of public interest.

The newspaper’s involvement with State of the County entailed providing the event’s primary organizer, the Craig Chamber of Commerce, with free advertising and helping coordinate with Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office regarding his participation.

The newspaper, however, failed in its role as a public watchdog.

The Chamber has made a questionable decision — the organization will not allow people without a ticket to attend tonight’s event.

This policy goes against past years, in which the Chamber allowed people who couldn’t afford a ticket (this year $40 for Chamber members, $50 for non-members) to still come to the event and hear their elected leaders speak.

Those people without a ticket couldn’t eat dinner, but they could stand in the back of the room and listen.

Another problem is with our local governments, the Craig City Council and Moffat County Commission, which are possibly in violation of open meetings laws by participating in an event tonight that could be considered a public meeting.

The Daily Press questioned the Chamber earlier about its policy on attendance and we should have pressed the issue further. We also should have checked with the council and commission much earlier regarding their participation. If there was a problem, we should have identified it much sooner than the eve of the event.

For that, we apologize.

And we’re trying to make it right.

The Daily Press will purchase tickets for those wanting to attend tonight’s event but cannot afford it, if tickets are available. Anyone interested should contact the newspaper at 824-7031 today.

In the meantime, the newspaper encourages the Chamber and its board to reexamine what we feel is an exclusionary policy. We also encourage the city council and county commission to request the Chamber soften its stance, as well.

Politics and meeting laws aside, there’s a fundamental right at risk of being violated today.

Those are the rights of taxpayers to have access to their government.

The Chamber has done a wonderful job organizing an event with fantastic speakers tonight, including the governor.

The newspaper is simply asking that everyone be afforded their right to hear them speak.

Comments

craigcampnfamlee 3 years, 9 months ago

Would it be possible to have this broadcast over the radio? Those who wish to hear the speakers would then have access without paying for the dinner.

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wellwell 3 years, 9 months ago

Broadcasting on the radio is a very good idea and if it can't be done today maybe next years meeting.

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goodforthegoose 3 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps other more pressing issues were on the minds of the planners causing them to overlook the finer details of including our local community in such an important event. The radio is indeed a great idea for open meeting access, I couldn't have come up with a better idea my ELF.

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wellwell 3 years, 9 months ago

Thank you Daily Press for the ticket option. It was appreciated.

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colorado_22 3 years, 9 months ago

Darn, wish I would have logged on last night and read this. Thank you Craig Daily Press! I was wondering why people should have to pay $40.00 to $60.00 to hear the leader of our great state speak. The subject matter of the speech holds much value for all of us, and I found it sad and unfortunate that it cost such a high price to attend. Today's economic times are sad and bleak, many people stuggling to put food on the table. The last thing we need is to completely disable constituents from being able to hear our political officials from speaking. I appreciate CDP for recognizing this, and taking steps which enabled residents to attend the event. Thank you.

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GreyStone 3 years, 9 months ago

We, the people, need to keep the riffraff who can’t afford a ticket, out of city & county government, they just confuse the FACTS.

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craigamerica 3 years, 9 months ago

Thanks Craig Daily Press and KRAI. Why do taxpayers have to pay to attend a meeting where our elected leaders (???) are giving an update of our State and Community? Is this another fundraiser for the Chamber? And why does anyone have to pay to attend meeting? Is that so they don't have to face the taxpayers? Is this a violation of the State's Sunshine Law?
Thanks Melody Villard for the information. At least someone steps up to help get the information flowing. I hope the voters remember who is trying to pull the fast ones in Craig/Moffat County America.

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