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Gazette Premium Content Boulder council balks at more financial disclosure

The Associated Press Published: February 22, 2014

BOULDER — A majority of Boulder City Council members say they don't believe the public should know how much money they make or what properties their business partnerships have unless they own 51 percent or more of the partnership.

Following complaints that the council lacks transparency, members said Thursday they want to preserve their financial privacy despite holding public office, the Boulder Daily Camera reported Friday (http://tinyurl.com/lssmoqn). They said they would recuse themselves if any properties owned by their business interests were in front of the nine-member council.

However, some members said the current rules are too vague, and they promised to take up the issue later this year.

In 2012, some council members came under criticism for not disclosing all their investments. At the time, Councilman George Karakehian was a member of at least two limited liability corporations that own property in Boulder and were not listed on his financial disclosure form, one of them with developer Stephen Tebo.

Karakehian said he left them off the form them because they are his retirement fund through Art Source International, the business he owns in downtown Boulder.

The salaries of all city employees are public information, but those rules do not apply to council members.

The current disclosure form requires candidates and elected officials to disclose all sources of income above $1,000, but it does not require them to list how much income.

Councilman Andrew Shoemaker said the amount of money people make is a sensitive issue.

"Transparency is in everyone's interest, but when we're talking about people's salaries, that's really sensitive, not only for the individual but for their employer," he said.

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