It appears that something is affecting our commissioners because they simply cannot seem to move forward with county operations. While Governor Inslee continues to provide them cover with directives allowing them to delay public hearings and provide minimum access to their meetings. We must expect more from our local officials!
My opponent lists as one of her first term successes on her campaign website that she helped bring “increased government transparency by live streaming and archiving Commissioner Meetings.” I applaud her work in this direction and provide her with credit for helping make this level of transparency happen. At least I did until COVID-19 came along.
At a time when it’s especially necessary to hear from our elected officials and have a dialog about how actions are impacting us, our commissioners are MIA.
Across the State, local governments are finding means and methods to stay in touch with constituents and move forward with county hearings and operations. Not only have our commissioners not made progress in these areas, at this point in time, they no longer live stream or archive any meetings. All video streaming of their meetings stopped early in May with only telephone monitoring allowed – the minimum required by Inslee’s edict. This was okay 30 years ago but completely unacceptable in 2020.
We are 20 years into the 21st century; a time when communication and interaction with people across the globe are easily accessible and affordable. Our active-duty soldiers can video conference from remote outposts in war zones halfway around the world but we can’t seem to live stream meetings locally. What’s happened with Kittitas County?
We have been following the county’s diligent efforts seeking state COVID-19 variances so that private businesses can begin the re-opening process; I just assumed that this pertained to County operations also. We need to demand that the cameras are turned back on and the safe resumption of public hearings start immediately. Operations that can continue utilizing technology should do so without delay.
We know that this Board has been plagued with an inability to function as a unit and displays open hostility between themselves. Citizens have a right to see this since their conversations must occur in public because of the board’s size. It’s time that we demand transparency and accountability return without delay. If you wish, please take a moment to email [email protected] and let them know how you feel.
As your County Commissioner, I will always demand maximum transparency and accountability. I will also push forward plans to put systems in place where citizens can be engaged with their government without spending the better part of a day to seek an audience to be heard. We will move Kittitas County government into the 21st century.