Longmont 303-776-9900
Louisville 720-726-3670

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Commentary and Analysis Regarding Colorado Law

Record Retention

Record Retention 2

School and special districts, along with other governmental entities, are governed by many federal and state laws, including Colorado’s state laws related to public records and their record retention periods.  Section 24-80-101, C.R.S. and following, provide the statutory framework for the legal requirements for school boards of education and special district boards of directors to follow in order to determine what public records must be preserved as permanent records, along with what public records may be destroyed and when such destruction may occur.  Without having an adopted records retention schedule approved by the Colorado State Archives, no record may be destroyed.  This article provides an overview of how to create and adopt a records retention schedule for your local government entity so that records may then legally be destroyed, as well as reviews the benefits of establishing the retention schedule.

What is a records retention schedule?  A records retention schedule lists all records maintained by the school or special district, along with how long each record must be maintained.  The schedule sets forth which records must be retained permanently and which others can be destroyed once they have exceeded the minimum retention period. The records retention schedule acts as the legal authorization by the State Archives and State Auditor to then destroy the non-permanent records.

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Election Spending and Local Government

Adele Reester

Many local governments have determined within the past few weeks to send a ballot issue or question to their voters in the November 2016 election.  This act of setting the ballot language for the issue or question triggers the application of the Colorado Fair Campaign Practices Act (“FCPA”) (§ 1-45-117, C.R.S.)  For the local governments, this means that they are expressly prohibited from expending public funds to support/oppose any candidate for public office and any ballot issue before the voters.  This include a prohibition on contributions of public funds and contributions of “in kind” public services.

However, the FCPA does permit the expenditure of public funds/resources and the use of public employees' time/resources only for the printing of a factual balanced and fair summary which includes arguments both for and against a proposal on any issue of official concern before an electorate.  The summary cannot urge a vote in a particular manner (“VOTE YES”).  It should be noted that unless the matter is referred to your voters by your board, it is not of “official concern” and therefore funds could not be used to prepare arguments for or against a statewide ballot issues.  Of further note is that this is in addition to the TABOR comments which are received from the public in support or opposition to a tax measure.

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“Open” Records are not “Free” Records


Submitted by Adele L. Reester

Has your local government received requests for access to and copies of public records? Have you wondered whether it is legal to charge a research fee for the time that it takes your staff to locate the records? Legislation signed by Governor Hickenlooper on May 2, 2014 provided clarification in response to recent court decisions holding that “reasonable” fees could be charged for research and retrieval time spent in response to an open records request. While the courts stated that such fees are permissible, they had not defined the amount of a “reasonable” fee. This new law, which became effective July 1, 2014, requires that if a local government (including school districts and special districts) is going to charge a fee for research and retrieval time it must have adopted a public records policy and posted it to the records custodian’s website or otherwise published it prior to receiving the request. This policy must contain the procedures for requesting and obtaining public records and it must specify the amount of the research and retrieval fee which the legislature determined should not be greater than $30.00 per hour. Every five years this maximum charge will be adjusted for inflation. Additionally, local governments may not charge at all for the first hour of time devoted to research and retrieval of records

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A Primer and Update on Open Meetings and Colorado’s Open Records Act


Submitted by Adele L. Reester

Do you have questions about open meetings and public records?  Are you knowledgeable about recent changes in the law?

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Ins and Outs of Liquor Licensing


Submitted by Adele L. Reester

Have a liquor license or thinking about getting one for your business: knowing the ins and outs can make all the difference.Liquor licensing of restaurants, taverns, stores, and other establishments is governed by a variety of state laws and regulations, legal decisions, and local rules established by individual Local Licensing Authority (“LLA”). Each municipality or county establishes its own LLA, which may be its judge, a hearing officer, the city council, the county commissioners, or even an appointed citizen board like the one used by the City of Boulder. In Longmont, the City utilizes its municipal judge, while outside city limits Boulder County’s Board of County Commissioners has appointed a hearing officer.

Starting the liquor license process, the applicant will need to complete the state application forms and also comply with any locally established rules. While there are uniform requirements that apply across the board to all applicants throughout the state, having knowledge of the local rules is essential for a smooth application route from start to finish. Longmont is a prime example where local rules create additional burdens on an applicant; some of the City’s local rules include: completion of a City application and other financial release forms; submission of three letters of reference that address the applicant’s (and perhaps registered manager’s) moral character and financial abilities; and deadlines for submitting neighborhood survey results and other evidence prior to the public hearing. Applicants need to assure that applications are complete or they will be rejected.

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Serving The Entire State Of Colorado
Map and Directions


Longmont Office

515 Kimbark Street, Second Floor
Longmont, CO 80501
Phone: 303-776-9900 
Maps & Directions

Louisville Office

363 Centennial Parkway, Suite 110
Louisville, CO 80027
Phone: 720-726-3670 
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Satellite Office

748 Whalers Way, Suite # 240A
Fort Collins, CO 80525
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