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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Discussing Whatever They Like in a "Study Session"

This article from The (Tacoma) News-Tribune discusses the Port of Olympia's apparent belief that they can discuss things like the creation of a new position at a "study session."

If the "study sessions" are not properly noticed regular or special meetings, the Port cannot discuss Port business, and the creation of a new Port position certainly qualifies as that. If the meetings are a properly noticed special meeting, and there is no indication in the story that they are, then they can only discuss the items on the agenda for that special meeting, not drift into new areas.

Coffee Meetings Might Violate the Open Public Meetings Act

This article from Spokesman-Review describes apparent "coffee meetings" of a city in advance of the "real" city council meetings. The public is not notified of the "coffee meetings."

If city business is discussed or acted up at a non-noticed meeting, it would violate the Open Public Meetings Act.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Book 'em Danno"

Jason Mercier shows his age by referring to Hawaii Five-O in this piece on the debate over booking photos in the Sunshine Committee.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kitsap Sun Describes Why It Had to Sue Kitsap County Over Public Records

David Nelson, editor of The (Kitsap) Sun, describes why his newspaper won a recent Court of Appeals ruling against Kitsap County and why the paper is reluctantly costing the County so much money.

NOTE: Allied Law Group's Greg Overstreet and David Norman represent The Sun in this case.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Public Records Requestor Must Be Part of Suit Over Records

The Supreme Court ruled that a public records requestor must be allowed to participate in a case about the disclosure of those records.

Here is the opinion and here is a Seattle Times story on the case.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Texts are Public Records

PubliCola explains why text messages conducting agency business are public records.

Sigh. Is this still in question? Guess so.

Thanks to a reader of this blog for the story.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kistap Sun Beats Kitsap County in PRA Case

The Court of Appeals ruled today for the Kitsap Sun in a Public Records Act case. The opinion addresses the issue of whether an agency's less than neutral actions in effect deny a request when a third party files an injunction against disclosure.

NOTE: Allied Law Group's Greg Overstreet and David Norman represented the Kitsap Sun in the case.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tri-City Herald Editorial on Open Meetings

A great editorial on a local government attempting to meet in secret.

(Vancouver) Columbian Editorial on Cameras in Courts

The (Vancouver) Columbian writes this editorial on cameras in federal courts, specifically the U.S. Supreme Court.

Washington courts have cameras in our Supreme Court and things go just fine.

What Can Happen When You Pass Laws in Secret

Apparently, mistakes are made when those most affected by a proposed new law don't get any input on it. The Spokesman-Review describes how this happened with the new soda tax.

(By the way, it's a little thing, but here on the West Coast we call carbonated beverages "pop," not "soda." I know the AP Style Manual says "soda" since that's the term used nationally so it's not the Spokesman's fault, but we're just noting how grating it is to hear "soda.")

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Seattle Times Piece on R-71 Case

Ryan Blethen of the Seattle Times writes this on the R-71 case.