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ARE COMMISSIONERS CONSTRUCTING ROADBOLCKS TO PUBLIC MEETINGS?
-Tom Davis, Shelton WA
At the Monday, July 20, briefing, all three Mason County commissioners agreed to reduce the number of regularly scheduled commission meetings from four to two per month.
There was no coherent explanation given for the decision and no legitimate reason for it exists, since these meetings have been held remotely since July 7th. Additionally, there was no legitimate reason for the commissioners to continue restricting in-person public attendance at meetings since attendance was at commissioner discretion since July 7th.
What’s notable about these actions is that, at the same time commissioners were misleading the public about in-person attendance being prohibited they were extending invitations for private meetings, which is a poor substitute for public comments meant to be included as part of the official record. Moreover, the decision to reduce the number of commissioner meetings by half now reduces the number of opportunities for public comment by half.
These actions did not happen by accident, and if the public views them, as they should, as part of a strategy to limit on-the-record public comments in an election year, the commissioners have only themselves to blame.
The governor’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ proclamation may have been a justifiable reason for our commissioners to prohibit public attendance at meetings, but the recent decisions to reduce the number of meetings and continue prohibiting in-person public attendance is an abomination of their own making.
Take back your county. Sign the home rule petition.
Signature gatherers will be stationed outside the Belfair Post Office on Friday and Saturday, July 24th and 25th between the hours of 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM; and outside the Shelton Post Office on Monday and Tuesday, July 27th & 28th, also from 11:30 to 1:30.