Brief by Central Staff
Politics – August 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine
Park County Commissioners Don’t Want Any Advice
If you have some advice for the Park County Commissioners, you might as well keep it to yourself — they don’t want to hear from you.
Or at least, it appears that way this summer after the commissioners abolished two advisory boards: the Park County Planning Commission and the Park County Advisory Board on the Environment.
The planning commission was abolished in a May 15 commission meeting, and members received letters thanking them for their services that were no longer required.
Commissioners noted that counties with fewer than 15,000 people are not required to have planning commissions. Park’s last official count, in 1990, put the population at 7,174, and the most recent Census Bureau estimate was 11,602 last summer.
They said they would take over the panning commission’s duties temporarily before naming a new planning commission next year.
The Advisory Board on the Environment apparently bit the dust at the same meeting, with members likewise receiving letters.
These actions may have resulted from a private meeting of the commissioners, which inspired legal challenges charging violations of the state’s Sunshine Laws.
This isn’t new — on July 7 of last year, District Judge Ken Plotz issued an injunction against the Park County Commissioners, ordering them to “comply fully with the Open Meetings Statute,” and enjoining them from “conducting meetings when a quorum is present without notice to the public” and from “conducting meetings in private.”
The Park County Republican and Fairplay Flume has been fighting the good fight to have public business conducted in public, and in the Greater Guffey Community News, editor Helen Cahill wrote that in Park County government, “There’s something missing. It’s called respect. And there’s something replacing it. It’s called arrogance.”