Controversy ensues after Sean Conway announces series of open forums for constituents
May 10, 2017
Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, who is organizing a series of public forums with a handful of elected officials, said the events are informal affairs, and won’t feature speeches. No RSVP is required, but if residents have questions, they can contact Conway at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (970) 356-4000, extension 4206.
A group of Weld County elected officials will launch a series of forums to hear from and engage their constituents, though not without a hint of controversy.
Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway announced the forums in a news release Wednesday. The first two forums will be in Firestone and Fort Lupton, and will feature free breakfast, which Conway said he'll pay for out of his own pocket.
The first will take place from 8:30-10 a.m. Saturday at Pepper's Fireside Grille, 8274 Colorado Blvd. in Firestone. The second is 8-10 a.m. May 20 at the Fort Lupton Recreation Center, 203 South Harrison Ave. Other breakfasts are being planned for Greeley, Windsor, Johnstown and Eaton in the coming months, according to the release. "Everyone is welcome," Conway said in a news release. "The breakfasts are an opportunity for residents in Weld County to come ask questions and get updates from each of the elected officials."
The breakfasts will feature Conway, Weld County Clerk and Recorder Carly Koppes, District Attorney Michael Rourke, Sheriff Steve Reams, Assessor Chris Woodruff and state Sens. John Cooke and Vicki Marble.
Shortly after The Tribune posted a story about the breakfasts to its website, Board of Weld County Commissioners Chairwoman Julie Cozad took to Facebook to share the story and say she would attend the forums as well.
In a subsequent phone interview with The Tribune, Cozad said she hadn't talked to Conway about the forums, and she said some commissioners may have found out about the forums only after The Tribune published its story.
"I'm disappointed, especially since the first one's in my district," Cozad said. "But it's an open meeting, so I'm planning on going."
Conway said the idea for the forums was brought to him by a couple of residents, and Conway said he didn't initially reach out to his fellow commissioners because the weekend scheduling can be difficult for them.
"Also, my goal was not to have a commissioner event, but rather let folks have an opportunity to visit with our other elected officials about what they are working on and give folks a chance to ask them questions," Conway said. "I anticipate if this takes off the other commissioners will want to be involved and will be welcome to do so."