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Commissioner meetings not transparent

 


County commissioner meetings are public - anyone can observe. Since they are open, the audience should be able to hear and understand the activities of the meeting, and maybe even ask questions. Most organizational meeting standards include advance notice of agendas, timely approval of minutes, available materials for topics discussed, time for discussion, and a record of decisions made. County Commissioners make their executive decisions through resolutions, which are normally recorded in the meeting minutes or may be attachments to the minutes.

But, here is what is happening at the Okanogan County Commissioner’s meetings. There is often no agenda put on their website in advance of the meeting. The approved minutes until recently were months behind in being posted on their website. Resolutions are not posted. More surprisingly, if you want to see a resolution, you must file a public disclosure request! Many Washington counties have their resolutions on their websites. At our meetings, the commissioners talk among themselves in undertones or whispers without turning on their microphones. When a topic requiring a decision and resolution is considered, there are no materials or details for the public – nothing is put on their website in advance, even when staff do have the materials in advance of the meeting. It would be very simple to use their big screen to display documents under consideration so the audience could follow the proceedings.

Commissioner Kennedy’s campaign slogan is “accountability, responsibility and leadership”, but her way of conducting meetings is not accountable, responsible or transparent. It appears that they don’t want us to know what they are doing or why.

Lack of transparency is just one of the reasons why I will not vote for incumbent Kennedy in November.

 

Sharon Sumpter

Winthrop

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