BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER
On July 15, Greenwood Village City Council held an executive session to “develop a strategy for negotiations, and/or instruct negotiators…regarding the Cherry Creek School District School Resource Officer Program.”
Another executive session is tentatively scheduled by GV City Council on August 5 “Regarding Discussion of the School Resource Officer Program (Dustin Varney, Chief of Police).”
On September 28, 2018, as they were reviewing budget proposals from city department heads for the upcoming year, GV City Council members Dave Bullock, Dave Kerber, Anne Ingebretsen, and Mayor Pro Tem George Lantz questioned a request by GV Police Chief Dustin Varney for $268,154 for two new school resource officers (police officers) at the combined campus of Cherry Creek High School, Campus Middle School, and Belleview Elementary School in Greenwood Village. After discussion, those four members of city council agreed that Varney’s request should be refused. Tom Dougherty and Judy Hilton were the only members of city council who said they were in favor of Chief Varney’s request. Mayor Ron Rakowsky also indicated he thought it should be approved. Council Member Steve Moran was absent from the meeting and Council Member Jerry Presley did not say anything during the discussion of the matter.
The $268,154 allocation for two new school police officers and necessary equipment for them was subsequently removed from GV’s 2019 city-wide budget, which contains anticipated revenues of $53 million compared to expenditures of $51 million. The budget also says that the city’s expected general fund balance at the end of 2019 will be $30 million, of which $19 million will be unrestricted.
According the Colorado General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Legal Services, an executive session, where the public is excluded, is allowed when “public disclosure of certain matters or negotiations in an open meeting is likely to stifle honest and frank discussion,” and may occur under certain conditions, including “for purposes of receiving legal advice on specific legal questions.”
An executive session is an exception to the Colorado Open Meetings Law, which states that “the formation of public policy is public business and may not be conducted in secret, “according to the Colorado General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Legal Services.
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