By Marcy Stamper
There may be changes to when and where the Okanogan County commissioners meet, based on new state laws and a proposal to add a third meeting day to the commissioners’ regular schedule.
The commissioners are considering amending the county code so they would meet every Wednesday — in addition to Monday and Tuesday — to conduct regular business.
In addition to the possibility of adding a regular Wednesday meeting, two state laws passed this year give commissioners more flexibility to hold meetings at various locations throughout the county, and to hold public meetings with commissioners of other counties to conduct business of mutual interest.
The first law is intended to make it easier for citizens to participate in county affairs by allowing the commissioners to hold special meetings at places other than at their official hearing room in Okanogan. The meetings would have to be announced at least 30 days in advance through a legal notice, on the county’s website, and by email to anyone who signs up for such announcements. The commissioners can hold meetings at alternate locations only once per quarter.
The other law allows commissioners of two or more counties to hold joint meetings if there are matters on the agenda that concern both or all the counties and their citizens. The meetings could be held at one of the county seats or at another location in one of the participating counties, but are not required to be held in each county. The meetings would have to be announced in advance.
The commissioners are holding a public hearing to consider an ordinance that would add the extra meeting day on Wednesday. The ordinance would also formally incorporate the provisions for alternate meeting locations and joint meetings with other commissioners.
The hearing is Tuesday (June 30) at 10:30 a.m. in the commissioners’ hearing room in Okanogan.
For more information or a copy of the proposed ordinance, contact Lanie Johns, clerk of the board, at (509) 422-7105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments on the proposed changes can be sent to that email address or submitted at the public hearing.