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EDITORIAL: San Juan County Council's sloppy approach to Open Public Meetings Act is inexcusable

  • Written by Sharon Kivisto

San Juan County Council's careless approach to observing the Open Public Meeting Act is upsetting and a disservice to the residents of San Juan County. 

Yesterday, February 7, 2023 San Juan County Council held a regular meeting on February 7, 2023 without any public notice of the agenda or the meeting itself.  No agenda was available through the county website. No notice of the meeting itself was published. As of Wednesday, February 8, information about the agenda was still not available on sanjuanco.com

At 9:52 a.m. Tuesday, the county sent out an email saying the recording service wasn't working and anyone who wanted to could join the meeting through TEAMS software system. No information about the agenda was included. Instead of rescheduling the meeting until after the agenda and meeting information could be properly noticed, the county said the meeting would just go on. 

On January 20, 2023, two members of the county council - Christine Minney and Cindy Wolf - met with Rep. Larsen, staff, community members at Zylstra Lake on San Juan Island. This was part of Rep. Larsen's visit to several places on the island. The county council was required to post notice that Minney and Wolf would be meeting with Larsen. No posting was done. Asked about the lack of notice. Wolf said it was posted. When informed it wasn't, she said the county council clerk had been told to do so.  

These glaring lacks of transparency are an affront to voters and need to be remedied promptly.