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County clarifies open meeting compliance

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On April 2, the Delta County Board of County Commissioners adopted a formal policy outlining the county's process and procedures for complying with Colorado Open Meeting requirements. This policy allows the county to create a better understanding of the policies and practices the county has in place.

In 2017, Delta County Citizen Report filed a lawsuit against the commissioners alleging the county was in violation of Colorado Open Meeting requirements. The county has not violated Colorado Open Meetings requirements, but agrees with Delta County Citizen Report that there is always room for improved communication.

According to a press release issued by the county, "The county has been and remains open to reasonable improvements to how we share information with Delta County citizens. To that end the county has engaged in discussions with Delta County Citizen Report. These discussions have been beneficial and have helped create a common understanding of how the county complies with Colorado Open Meetings requirements.

"As an outcome of these discussions, the county has committed to adopting a formal policy that clearly outlines our procedures for formalizing existing practices, complying with open meeting requirements, and outlines the additional steps we take to improve transparency. We believe this policy will help the public understand how to access information about formal meetings and agendas."

The policy, in part, agrees that specific agenda items will be included in postings of public meetings -- when possible to do so. Known presenters of information, requests or reports shall be included in the agenda. "Action items" will be presented by topic on the agenda.

In every situation, full and timely notice of public meetings shall be posted no less than 24 hours prior to the meeting. The official posting place is the county courthouse. Additional notice will be posted at the county's North Fork Annex in Hotchkiss and on the county website at www.deltacounty.com.

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