On city council agenda Tuesday night: executive session regarding ‘complaint against public officer’

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Yet another executive session is on the schedule for the Edmonds City Council this Tuesday, this time “to receive and evaluate a complaint or charges brought against a public officer” and regarding potential litigation.

After the session, which begins at 6 p.m., the council will meet in public session. The first item on the agenda is “potential action as a result of executive session discussion.”

Also on the agenda:

– Compensation consultant presentation

– Resolution regarding Woodway Police services contract.

– Work session on the 2012 budget.

– Council reports on outside committee/board meetings.

You can see the complete agenda here. The meeting will be in the Council Chambers, Public Safety Building, 250 5th Ave. N.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Ron, in the event that Citizens are interested in all 14 reasons for Executive sessions, I’ll post them below. As you know, I believe some of these 14 reasons do not require permanent confidentiality.

    RCW 42.30.110
    Executive sessions.

    *** CHANGE IN 2011 *** (SEE 5764.SL) ***

    (1) Nothing contained in this chapter may be construed to prevent a governing body from holding an executive session during a regular or special meeting:

    (a) To consider matters affecting national security;

    (b) To consider the selection of a site or the acquisition of real estate by lease or purchase when public knowledge regarding such consideration would cause a likelihood of increased price;

    (c) To consider the minimum price at which real estate will be offered for sale or lease when public knowledge regarding such consideration would cause a likelihood of decreased price. However, final action selling or leasing public property shall be taken in a meeting open to the public;

    (d) To review negotiations on the performance of publicly bid contracts when public knowledge regarding such consideration would cause a likelihood of increased costs;

    (e) To consider, in the case of an export trading company, financial and commercial information supplied by private persons to the export trading company;

    (f) To receive and evaluate complaints or charges brought against a public officer or employee. However, upon the request of such officer or employee, a public hearing or a meeting open to the public shall be conducted upon such complaint or charge;

    (g) To evaluate the qualifications of an applicant for public employment or to review the performance of a public employee. However, subject to RCW 42.30.140(4), discussion by a governing body of salaries, wages, and other conditions of employment to be generally applied within the agency shall occur in a meeting open to the public, and when a governing body elects to take final action hiring, setting the salary of an individual employee or class of employees, or discharging or disciplining an employee, that action shall be taken in a meeting open to the public;

    (h) To evaluate the qualifications of a candidate for appointment to elective office. However, any interview of such candidate and final action appointing a candidate to elective office shall be in a meeting open to the public;

    (i) To discuss with legal counsel representing the agency matters relating to agency enforcement actions, or to discuss with legal counsel representing the agency litigation or potential litigation to which the agency, the governing body, or a member acting in an official capacity is, or is likely to become, a party, when public knowledge regarding the discussion is likely to result in an adverse legal or financial consequence to the agency.

    This subsection (1)(i) does not permit a governing body to hold an executive session solely because an attorney representing the agency is present. For purposes of this subsection (1)(i), “potential litigation” means matters protected by RPC 1.6 or RCW 5.60.060(2)(a) concerning:

    (i) Litigation that has been specifically threatened to which the agency, the governing body, or a member acting in an official capacity is, or is likely to become, a party;

    (ii) Litigation that the agency reasonably believes may be commenced by or against the agency, the governing body, or a member acting in an official capacity; or

    (iii) Litigation or legal risks of a proposed action or current practice that the agency has identified when public discussion of the litigation or legal risks is likely to result in an adverse legal or financial consequence to the agency;

    (j) To consider, in the case of the state library commission or its advisory bodies, western library network prices, products, equipment, and services, when such discussion would be likely to adversely affect the network’s ability to conduct business in a competitive economic climate. However, final action on these matters shall be taken in a meeting open to the public;

    (k) To consider, in the case of the state investment board, financial and commercial information when the information relates to the investment of public trust or retirement funds and when public knowledge regarding the discussion would result in loss to such funds or in private loss to the providers of this information;

    (l) To consider proprietary or confidential nonpublished information related to the development, acquisition, or implementation of state purchased health care services as provided in RCW 41.05.026;

    (m) To consider in the case of the life sciences discovery fund authority, the substance of grant applications and grant awards when public knowledge regarding the discussion would reasonably be expected to result in private loss to the providers of this information;

    (n) To consider in the case of a health sciences and services authority, the substance of grant applications and grant awards when public knowledge regarding the discussion would reasonably be expected to result in private loss to the providers of this information.

    (2) Before convening in executive session, the presiding officer of a governing body shall publicly announce the purpose for excluding the public from the meeting place, and the time when the executive session will be concluded. The executive session may be extended to a stated later time by announcement of the presiding officer.

    [2010 1st sp.s. c 33 § 5; 2005 c 424 § 13; 2003 c 277 § 1; 2001 c 216 § 1; 1989 c 238 § 2; 1987 c 389 § 3; 1986 c 276 § 8; 1985 c 366 § 2; 1983 c 155 § 3; 1979 c 42 § 1; 1973 c 66 § 2; 1971 ex.s. c 250 § 11.]

    Notes:
    Captions not law — Liberal construction — Severability — Effective dates — 2005 c 424: See RCW 43.350.900 through 43.350.903.

    Severability — Effective date — 1987 c 389: See notes following RCW 41.06.070.

    Severability — 1986 c 276: See RCW 53.31.901.

  2. In F above if the complaint is against a public officer and the officer is part of the executive session that public officer can request that the meeting be public. Any chance that our Edmonds public officer will request a public meeting instead of an executive session?

  3. Ken, Dont know if you have ever attended washington coalition for open gov. meeting. They are very informative and publish a news letter at washington cog.org

  4. Thanks Don. I plan on attending one of their meetings at my first opportunity. Thanks again for pointing this out.

    Edmonds really has a chance to be a leader in this area. I hope the City seizes the opportunity.

  5. At last week’s council meeting Roger Hertrich’s comments were replete with statements supporting his candidates – incumbents Cooper, Buckshnis, and Petso, as well as being openingly critical of DJ Wilson. Mayor Cooper gave Hertrich a couple warnings, but he did not cut him off. City Attorney Taraday said nothing. Campaigning is not allowed at the podium. I hope that tomorrow night Cooper and Taraday will do their jobs, because you can be certain that Hertrich will once again test the rules.

  6. While Ms cole states she was hired as a Confidential employee working for the Mayor and reported only to him, I would like to suggest that you all look at the job opening that Ms Cole filled. Put aside the fact that no other person was interviewed to fill the posted position, we could have missed qualified candidates that were actually qualified to fulfill the duties outlined in the job posting.

    The job posting indicates a significant amount of work that would require the winning applicant to be in City Hall supporting the city administration. Ms. Cole has an issue coming to work regularly at the city of Edmonds and when she “supported” Mr Cooper as a county council member.

    I am making an assumption here, but I would suggest that she has spent a significant amount of time collecting hefty salaries without performing the duties specified to collect those salaries. In this case in Edmonds she has used her law school training to put all the necessary elements in place to strike it big while exiting the city. She first tried this when her friend, DJ Wilson, tried to negotiate a back-room exit deal that increased in value 3 or 4 times before Mayor Cooper signed it.

    I for one can’t wait for the investigations to be complete. The citizens of edmonds that are ultimately paying for this mess deserve nothing less that the whole truth.

  7. Bill:

    After Gary Haakenson’s resignation, staff wanted to enable the newly appointed mayor to “hit the ground running”. One of the things that they did to help was to start the process to recruit an executive assistant for whomever was appointed mayor. It’s my understanding that staff had received 100 applicants for the job prior to Cooper’s arrival, and that Cooper did not interview any of them.

  8. I fully agree with Mr. Vance. Let let the chips fall where they may and let’s hear the truth. If Ms. Cole did nothing improper as Ron B. suggests then she should be protected.
    .
    However, I find it difficult to put very much trust in a “friend” of D. J. Wilson, the perpetual conniving meddler. If Mayor Cooper thinks DJ is his friend then he surely needs no enemies

    Elections usually have a cleansing effect; let’s hope that voters will weigh the true behavior of both Mayor Cooper and DJ Wilson and their involvement in this scandal fairly.

  9. I just think that the people who work in the offices for the city of edmonds get payed way way too much money lets face it over 100 thousand dollars for a hr director thats crazy. and how much was this ms cole getting and how many hours was she working, and then the city wants a levy cause they can’t pay there bills, good luck .I sure wish at the next council meeting somebody would bring a cake .

  10. Reading the minutes of the Oct 25th council meeting I noticed that an executive session was held at the end of the regular council meeting; the only announcement of the session occurred immediately prior to it being convened. That’s highly unusual! Normally the session would have been announced at the start of the regular public meeting. Perhaps just an oversight, but these days I’m not so sure.

  11. Ron B I stand corrected that Hr person isn’t there anymore, They have the parks director doing her job plus being parks director so how does that work . Im venting over something that is past tence shame on me I stand corrected.

  12. Ron B.:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that you either lack reading comprehension skills, or you simply enjoy spreading bull – your #15 is full of it. I’ll just take the time to challenge you on one of your statements: “If anyone believes the campaign literature this guy Earling is mailing, proclaiming he’s going to cut city salaries and curb expenses, they are in serious need of a jump start to the brain.” I have all of Dave’s literature and there is nothing said about going to cut city salaries.

  13. For the last time I’ll say that Dave has not said that he would cut city salaries. It’s a lot easier not to increase salaries than it is to cut them. I don’t know what he’ll do about salaries in the future. And whatever he does would have to be authorized by city council.

  14. Ron W, I knew you were right without even checking. That’s because I’ve been reading the Dave Earling mailers (no small task) and reading his web site. As far as I can tell, he has not made a single promise that we can hold him to. Not one.

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