There are legitimate concerns that make members of the Grand Junction City Council hesitant about making all of their city-related emails easily accessible to the public. A major one is that such ready accessibility — perhaps at an electronic kiosk in City Hall — might deter some citizens from contacting council members via email.
But for those citizens who are truly worried about this, there are more ancient means of communication such as telephone, snail mail and face-to-face conversations.
It’s important to note that, in considering the kiosk plan, the City Council has been contemplating a policy that goes well beyond the requirements of Colorado open-records law.
What’s more, the city has already established new policies to make public-records requests from citizens less costly and time consuming than has been the case in some instances.
So, if the council rejects the kiosk idea, as seems likely based on sentiments expressed at last weekend’s council retreat, it won’t mean the council is retreating from public transparency.
Still, we think implementing the kiosk plan would take the council’s commitment to transparency to a new level and set a standard for other local government entities.