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Cinnamon rolls stop cameras rolling at Denver City Council

By The Associated Press

DENVER — A government-access television station wasn't allowed to tape a City Council discussion of the city's budget crisis on Aug. 6 because a councilwoman said she didn't want the group to be shown eating the cinnamon rolls she brought to the meeting.

Council President Elbra Wedgeworth confirmed that Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz requested Aug. 2 that Channel 8 not broadcast the meeting.

"It's not a big deal because the meetings still go on; they're still public," Wedgeworth said. "We rarely do something like this. It was a one-time request."

Faatz did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Nine members attended the meeting where they discussed the city's lagging sales tax revenues, a problem which may force more workers out of their jobs before the end of the year. So far, 50 employees have lost their jobs this summer because of budget cuts.

The public-access station's crew was also told not to tape a planned Aug. 8 meeting to discuss the mayor's plan to overhaul the city agency that oversees employment, hiring and pay issues. Steve Hansen, the station's content and marketing supervisor, said on Aug. 6 that Councilwoman Kathleen MacKenzie made that request but later withdrew it.

MacKenzie denied that she asked that cameras be barred and defended the decision not to televise the Aug. 6 meeting.

"Channel 8 laid off two people, so there's no way that they can cover every single meeting," she said. "There's a limited budget they have over there."

City meetings are usually shown live on Channel 8 and then replayed throughout the week.


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