County Commissioners Eye Evening Meetings

Workshops are opportunities. The more informal atmosphere encourages additional communication. Discussion. Transparency. You may even learn a thing or two. Put some fresh ideas on the table. Like at this morning’s county commissioner’s workshop in Montesano.

Perhaps the most interesting idea coming out of today’s workshop was championed by Commissioner Wes Cormier. This guy’s like a dog with a bone in the government transparency department, always chewing on more ways and means to keep the public informed and county government doin’s in the sunshine.

Today Cormier suggested one night meeting a month so that people who work during the day can attend and engage. Noting that city councils typically meet during the evening, Cormier suggested that an evening meeting, perhaps the first Monday of every month, would “give people more access” to county government.

The Grays Harbor Board of County Commissioners holds its regular business meetings at 2:00 p.m. each Monday, excluding holidays. It’s like a bat cave in there. Rare is the meeting in which the room does not resemble an echo chamber due to a dearth of attendees. (Fee-for-access controversies exempted.)

Commissioners Vickie Raines and Frank Gordon both expressed support for Cormier’s evening meeting idea. Raines expressed concern about staff overtime. Gordon said he “didn’t have a problem” with a night meeting but noted that the PUD tried same and cancelled after six months “because no one showed.” He suggested implementation on a trial basis.

Joining the commishes for today’s workshop were Budget Director Brenda Sherman, Human Resources Manager Marilyn Lewis, County Prosecutor Katie Svoboda, and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Norma Tillotson.

Btw, Lewis said the county has received 13 apps for the Public Works position opened per the recent retirement of Public Services Director Kevin Varness. The job posting closes this Friday at 5:00 p.m. Don’t be late.

Workshops are open to the public. They’re calendared for the first and third Tuesday of each month at 10:30 a.m. in conference room 1 of the county admin building.