Tod Tibbetts: Sunshine Troublemaker of the Week

Tod Tibbetts of Silt, Colorado is the newest recipient of the coveted and increasingly prestigious Sunshine Troublemaker of the Week award.

Tibbetts wins the STOTW award because although he believed he was filing open records requests under Colorado law to learn more about the conduct of government in his town, unbeknownst to Tibbetts he was actually engaged in a “witch hunt”.

At least, that’s how Mayor Dave Moore sees it.

Mayor Moore built a fence in the town without the required permit. When criticized for this by a group–including Tibbetts–that is seeking to recall him from office, the Mayor said:

…while such a permit is required, none is available at Town Hall, and planners told him none had ever been issued.

However, the recall group filed an open records request to see whether anyone else from Silt had ever received one of these mysterious fence permits. What they learned is that 17 had been issued in 2007, 15 in 2006, 27 in 2005 and 18 in 2004.


Mr. Tibbetts, we are proud to welcome you as the 7th STOTW. Keep up the excellent work.

While I’m on the subject of Colorado, sometimes I think about declaring the entire state of Colorado as one big Sunshine Troublemaker.

Colorado Citizens for Ethics in Government has filed an open records request to learn about a property annexation in Longmont.

Brad Jones of Face the State embarrassed the Colorado governor with documents found in an open records request.

An effort to obtain emails of county commissioners didn’t succeed.

And that’s just in the last month.

2 responses to “Tod Tibbetts: Sunshine Troublemaker of the Week

  1. Thanks for the award. I appreciate the focus and support our efforts in Silt have garnered. While Town government is not glamorous, it is an institution that has direct control over people’s quality of life. Decisions that are made by the town need to be done by the law and with honest and public dialogue. Our efforts have been successful at bringing to light instances where elected public officials have failed to live up to their responsibilities. Through direct conversation with Town citizens, web based information like the blog at http://www.fromthe and your organization’s website, we are sucessfully holding the Mayor and others on the Town Board accountable for their actions. With factual information, the voters can make good decisions and excersize their right to hold their elected representatives accountable for their actions.

  2. Pingback: 10 ways you can use open records to investigate environmental stories « Open Records

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