Sign up for the Open Government eNewsletter
We warmly welcome your thoughts on og-blog and especially welcome your emails with suggested postings and links to interesting stories and court cases. If you have something to say about open government in Washington State, sending it to og-blog is probably the best way to get it out. Don’t hesitate to contact us at

Friday, August 17, 2007

Olympian Editorial on County's Extreme Reaction to State Auditor

This editorial is so good we will include many portions of it:

"Thurston County Commissioner Diane Oberquell needs to back off and let State Auditor Brian Sonntag and his staff do their job. At issue is a conflict between Sonntag, who is simply doing the public's work by auditing the county, and a county government official who feels inconvenienced. In this dust-up between fellow Democrats Sonntag is right and Oberquell is wrong. ...

"Oberquell doesn't get it. This is a test of government accountability — precisely what the voters wanted when they supported I-900 with their votes. ...

"What's her beef? Those are all public records that citizens have a legitimate right to examine. Sonntag said Oberquell's outburst made him wonder what the county might be hiding. .... The county does not have a stellar record when it comes to openness and transparency.

"Sonntag's performance audit on government accountability is due in November. It will be very interesting to see how Thurston County officials responded to legitimate requests for public documents and how the response in Thurston County measured up to the other 29 government jurisdictions tested. Until the report arrives, Oberquell should back off and let Sonntag do the job the citizens gave him through passage of I-900."

Here's a recent Yakima Herald-Republic editorial on this topic and the original Olympian news story.