Colorado Mountain College trustees withdraw censure of fellow trustee
September 2, 2016
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees on Thursday chose not to move forward with a censure of one of its members for letters she wrote to Colorado newspapers about the college's budget.
The board first considered censuring Trustee Mary Ellen Denomy in June after she wrote letters to regional newspapers in May opposing a transfer of college money to the nonprofit CMC Foundation and in June saying she would vote against a raise, bonus and contract extension for college President and CEO Carrie Hauser.
Clashing with policy
Denomy's letters clashed with a 2014 board policy stating that board members will support the final determination of the board on a matter regardless of the member's personal position on the matter. The policy also states that the board's sole spokesperson is the board president.
A censure would have expressed formal disapproval from the trustees but carried no further penalty.
Board President Glenn Davis said Thursday that the trustees had discussed the issue during a board retreat Wednesday and drafted a statement on the issue.
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"Trustees worked diligently to understand each trustee's perspectives and recognize the validity of their different opinion," Davis said, reading the statement. "The board recognizes the need to move forward, committing to shared values regarding the necessity of individual expressions while always acting in the best interests of the college."
The statement said the board will work to clarify its roles and responsibilities and develop a new code of conduct using widely recognized governance practices.
Trustees voted unanimously to withdraw of the June motion to censure Denomy and in favor of the development of improved practices moving forward.
"(We) commit to the development of improved governance practices and a culture of trust, transparency, collaboration and shared values," Thursday's statement read.
In July, Denomy told the Glenwood Springs Post Independent that board minutes don't fully capture the reasons trustees vote a certain way, adding she thought it was important for constituents to understand why she voted the way she did on budget issues, which is what led to the letters.