Castle Pines councilman can't peruse city checkbook

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Castle Pines City Council Member James Einolf, who wants to view the city's check register for the last two years, said in a recent interview that he doesn't know yet what he's going to do about Mayor Jeffrey Huff directing the finance director not to give him that information — and about the council siding with Huff at the June 11 city council meeting.

“I could sue the city … but I didn't get elected to cost the (city residents) money,” he said in the interview.

He also doesn't want to file a request under the Colorado Open Records Act, because that would cost him money.

“It's tough because it's so unheard of,” he said. “It's so outlandish. I don't know where to start or (how to) react.”

Einolf, who has been a council member for close to two years, said he thinks the financial packets he gets at the council meetings give him all the information he needs. But he still wants to review the check register, and he said he believes “an elected official should receive any information they want.”

Einolf did say he was looking for legal and engineering expenses in particular, but didn't offer more detail on why and said that wasn't pertinent.

Huff, at the June 11 council meeting, said he didn't think Einolf's request was an appropriate use of taxpayer money and staff time. And Huff added after the meeting that it would have been different if Einolf had some specificity in his request — such as if he were looking for some clarity on a particular project, like more detail on financing of a city road project. But Einolf's request was more a “give-me-everything-you've-got,” Huff said. “It was just overly reaching.”

Huff, however, did say that Einolf has not been someone who has pestered city staff with numerous requests.

Einolf said this is actually the first time he has made such a request, and the finance director told him it would take her about 15 minutes of her time to put the information together.

But council members responding to Einolf's request at the meeting had questions and concerns.

Council Member Tera Radloff said the staff didn't work for the council members and shouldn't be at their beck and call. “It's improper,” she said.

“What is it you're looking for?” Council Member Marc Towne asked Einolf at the June 11 meeting, and he expressed weariness about the secretive nature of the request and described Einolf's efforts as “another James Einolf `witch hunt.'”