Durango, CO: A resolution reprimanding City Councilor Olivier Bosmans for acting in a manner unbecoming of a councilor and bringing disrepute to the Durango City Council has been placed on the agenda for City Council’s regular Tuesday, Dec. 5 meeting.
The resolution, listed at the end of the agenda for the Dec. 5 meeting, seeks to offer a letter of apology from councilors to the city manager and staff following Bosmans’ actions at the Nov. 7 council meeting, where he intended:
- To manufacture the false perception that the City Manager had committed an act that required council intervention prior to the adoption of the 2024 city budget;
- Intentionally manipulated the city attorney and his fellow councilors to perpetuate this false public perception, and in doing so:
- Brought disrepute to the City and City Council.
The resolution seeks to publicly reprimand Councilor Bosmans for his "misdeeds," and to correct an unacceptable behavior. If the resolution passes, councilors will approve a letter of apology to the city manager and staff for the actions of Bosmans.
“Public officials hold a public trust and are expected to adhere to a standard of behavior that does not violate or appear to violate that trust,” reads the resolution. “It is a violation of the public trust for councilors to act outside of the Code of Conduct and Ethics they impose on city officials, officers, and employees.”
At the Nov. 7 meeting Bosmans requested a vote to conduct an executive session without any prior consultation with the city attorney, who is required to review requests for an executive session to ensure that they meet legal requirements. Fellow councilors questioned the need for the request. The city attorney suggested to Bosmans they adjourn the meeting to discuss the proper procedure. Bosmans than requested a vote for a special meeting that would not require the consultation of the city attorney. Councilors Youssef, Yazzie and Woodruff expressed “extreme concern” according to the resolution, about the action and that a vote would undermine the public trust and create the perception council was unwilling to investigate a matter regarding the city’s appointed officials. There are three appointed officials that serve at the pleasure of the council: City Manager Jose Madrigal, City Attorney Mark Morgan, and the municipal judge.
Council voted for the special meeting, but a review of the events that took place showed numerous instances of bad faith, said City Attorney Mark Morgan. “This entire ordeal could have been avoided if Councilor Bosmans would have simply asked a question about a minor expenditure in three prior public meetings,” he said.
The resolution to be discussed Tuesday says, in part:
- Councilor Bosmans’ concerns did not warrant an executive session to discuss a personnel matter;
- Councilor Bosmans’ concerns did not warrant a special meeting for any purpose;
- Councilor Bosmans intent was to manufacture the false public perception that the City Manager had committed an act that required council intervention prior to the adoption of the 2024 city budget;
- Councilor Bosmans intentionally manipulated the city attorney and his fellow councilors to perpetuate this false public perception; and
- The actions of Councilor Bosmans have brought disrepute to the City and the City Council.
On Tuesday, council will entertain a motion to place the proposed resolution on the Jan. 2 agenda for further discussion. If council approves the resolution on Jan. 2, a copy of the memorandum on the city attorney’s findings can be requested through the city’s Transparency Portal.
(UPDATED 12/1 at 3:14 p.m. to reflect how the public can access the city attorney's memorandum).
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