Broomfield Hires Outside Attorney to Review Executive Session
Broomfield City Council has agreed to hire special counsel to review the Feb. 20 oil and gas executive session.
Interim City and County Attorney Pat Gilbert suggested hiring Marcus McAskin, of Michow Cox & McAskin, a Greenwood Village-based firm that specializes in municipal law.
Ward 5 Councilwoman Guyleen Castriotta said she felt the oil and gas update given in the executive session was not covered by attorney-client privilege. She received feedback that residents perceived that as a lack of transparency and that it fosters feelings of mistrust. Castriotta said she felt she let her constituents down.
“I won’t be supporting that kind of behind-closed-door update in the future,” she said. “Our citizens have a right to know what is happening with oil and gas development and any matters that so greatly impacts our entire community.”
Several council members then discussed executive sessions, the need for council to ask for legal advic,e and to give staff direction in private settings so as not to hurt their negotiating position.
Ward 4 Councilman Kevin Kreeger said he agrees negotiations should be in private, but he wants clarity on decision-making.
One action — that was supported by the majority of council — was taken at that session, Kreeger said, and other legal options were not. He wants to know if that’s allowed.
It’s important to know what’s legal or not, he said, because it is how council has been operating.
Remarks have been made to the public that Broomfield officials have followed “every legal option,” but Kreeger does not believe that is a true statement since some suggested legal actions were not acted upon.
Ward 2 Councilman Mike Shelton said he doesn’t want it insinuated that decisions are happening in executive sessions, and he is in favor of hiring outside counsel to get feedback.
“The reason we have executive sessions is because we want to talk about receiving legal advice that if otherwise was in public, could hurt our legal position,” Shelton said.
Other oil and gas updates
Last week Tami Yellico, Broomfield’s director of strategic initiatives, met with three representatives from 301, who put staff in touch with government representatives in Gunnison and Contra Costa County, California, to talk about oil and gas and industrial regulations.
Requests for proposals for air quality testing was expected to be issued no later than Tuesday. Deputy City and County Manager Kevin Standbridge said officials expect 10 firms to submit RFPs including, one from University of Colorado Boulder. A member of 301 was invited to sit in on those interviews.
Broomfield staff also is looking into purchasing infrared cameras and will have a proposal to council in about a month.
Crestone Peak Resources filed a use by special review on Feb. 23 for proposed oil and gas development. The filing is for two pads of 13 wells each that will be east of I-25 about a mile north of 168th Avenue. A public hearing has not been scheduled, but there will be a 60-day review period to submit comments.
Jennifer Rios: 303-473-1361, email@example.com or Twitter.com/Jennifer_Rios