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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

UPDATED: Port of Port Angeles Accused of Violating Open Meetings Act

Ah, the old "narrowing down the pool of candidates in executive session" situation.

The Open Public Meetings Act prohibits the Port of Port Angeles from deciding who to hire in a closed-to-the-public executive session. But they narrowed down the pool of candidates for the Port's CEO job from 22 to 1. Going from 22 to 1 seems like a decision. When you narrow down, say, which of 22 cars you want to buy to 1, most normal people would call that a "decision."

The Port commissioners voted unanimously in an open session--without any discussion in the open session--to offer the job to the 1. A unanimous decision without any discussion but "no decision was previously made"? Wow. A bunch of politicians coming to a unanimous decision without any discussion on which of 22 people to hire? Theoretically possible but not terribly likely. A room full of politicians could debate for hours what to order for lunch.

The story is detailed in the Peninsula Daily News.

NOTE: The story quotes Greg Overstreet of Allied Law Group.

UPDATE: Here is a news story with more details of what happened.