Lawsuit dismissed


Arvada resident, Russell Weisfield, filed a lawsuit against the City of Arvada in early February stating secret ballots were used by city council in a special meeting Jan. 10 election to select Councilman Jerry Marks. The lawsuit also cited the ballots violated Colorado’s Open Meeting laws, which states public meetings must be announced and posted in a timely manner, such as a 24-hour notice, and notes the use of secret ballots is prohibited. The lawsuit asked for Marks to be removed from office until another election could be held, in which the council members votes were publically recorded.

The lawsuit was dismissed March 30 by Jefferson County District Judge Margie Enquist citing that the process may have violated the law but Weisfield did not have standing to bring forth his claim as no personal injury was demonstrated in the matter.


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At last, the Arvada Press has acknowledged that "something smells in the state of [Arvada]"! This article fails to note, however, that the original sponsor of the Open Meetings Act, Rep. Gardner of Colorado Springs, immediately announced that he would ask the Legislature to allow him to introduce a new bill, late in the session, to specifically enable citizens to bring suit to enforce the Open Meetings Act by granting all citizens "standing" in the courts.

Senator Rachel Zenzinger, in response to a citizen email to all sitting representatives of Arvada and candidates to represent Arvada in the upcoming November elections, stated late today "...I left a note with Rep. Gardner this afternoon letting him know that I am interested in possibly serving as the Senate sponsor on this bill."

While Arvada citizens hoped for a more enthusiastic response from their State Senator, at least Sen. Zenzinger responded. Rep. Libby Szabo has yet to respond. Some citizens have commented that the response from Niles Aronson, Libertarian candidate for State House District 27 was the only response that showed an informed, thoughtful, and concerned response to the citizens of Arvada.

For more information, check out the discussion of this matter at Citizens for A Better Arvada on Facebook.

Nancy Young

Some citizens were impressed with the response from Niles Aronson, Libertarian candidate

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 | Report this

I personally thank Senator Zenzinger for her commitment to sponsor a bill that will stop this type of travesty of justice. Another bill is not even necessary except to close a technical loophole. HB12-1169 was certainly intended to confer standing to all of the citizens it was written to protect. And I too am disappointed that this article gives very few details about the background of this story. One would think a "news" organization would be a little more enthusiastic about a Sunshine Law issue.

Thursday, April 10, 2014 | Report this

The nice thing about this is that it's no longer just an Arvada matter. Coloradans are dancing with disaster on thin, thin ice if this is left unrepaired. Clearly that's my opinion, but it seems to be shared by The Denver Post, The Colorado Springs Gazette, and the Longmont Times Call--as it should be! Where will the press be in fifty years if we backwards crawl out of being a sunshine state?

Thursday, April 10, 2014 | Report this