Craig City Council invited to Sunshine Law workshop
September 2, 2018
CRAIG – Let the sun shine in on those public meetings.
During the Craig City Council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 28, Craig Press reporter Sasha Nelson, on behalf of the newspaper, invited the Craig City Council, all local elected officials, those serving on a public board, and concerned citizens to a governmental transparency workshop, to be held in early October.
The workshop is called “Let the ‘Sun Shine,'” Nelson said. The purpose of the workshop is to educate government officials and employees about Colorado’s Sunshine laws, which are designed to make open public meetings transparent and offer guidelines on how such meetings are conducted.
The workshop will begin at 8 a.m. Monday, Oct. 1, in the library at CNCC, 2801 W. Ninth St. Space is limited, so they ask people interested in attending to register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The idea for the workshop was born in January when members of the Local Marketing District board approached the newspaper with concerns about being “entangled in procedurals” and requesting education on how to be transparent and properly hold a meeting.
Nelson developed the idea based upon these concerns, and on Tuesday, she asked City Council to contribute $500 to help pay for Jeff Roberts, executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, to present. The coalition is a nonprofit organization operating out of Denver. Its purpose is to support the media by providing legal advice distributing information about the state’s Sunshine Laws and Colorado Open Records Act.
“It is far better for us to get some real experts here to bring them to our community than to make you all seek this resource elsewhere,” Nelson said.
The Craig Press will provide food and beverages and plans to close its office for a half day to organize the workshop, Nelson said, and local businesses have already agreed to provide Roberts’ hotel accommodation during his visit to Craig.
She said she hopes the workshop will provide the public and elected officials alike a better understanding of what the Sunshine Laws are.
Craig Mayor John Ponikvar added there are four new city council members and a new county commissioner who might benefit from attending the workshop.
If this workshop is successful, Nelson said, the newspaper will look into making it an annual event.
Ponikvar said the council will make a decision about the request for $500 during its next regular meeting.