Port Angeles changes rules to promote transparency

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles City Council has approved a code change, saying it will promote transparency in its advisory board and committee meetings.

Council members voted 7-0 Tuesday to pass an ordinance revising municipal code for various panels that make policy recommendations to the full council.

Among the changes, the ordinance requires that public comment periods be offered at each meeting and that agendas be posted online five days prior to the meeting.

An advisory board recruitment and interview policy was added, Port Angeles Forward Committee meetings were changed from monthly to quarterly and the Real Estate Committee meetings were eliminated.

When possible, all advisory board and committee meetings will be held in City Council chambers at City Hall, 321 E. Fifth St.

“There are a lot of things that I believe this does to provide more transparency for those advisory committees to the council,” City Manager Dan McKeen said before the vote.

“It also provides more consistency in the approach in dealing with the committees.”

Mayor Patrick Downie thanked City Councilman Lee Whetham for his leadership on the code revisions.

Whetham serves as vice chair of the Utility Advisory Committee.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” Whetham said of the ordinance.

“It’s going to let people know that they’re going to get a chance, more than one chance, to talk about utility rates, different policy that the different committees look at.”

City Council members Brad Collins, Sissi Bruch and Whetham agreed that the ordinance will bring more consistency to the advisory boards and committees.

“We as a council, we appreciate listening to the citizens,” Whetham added.

“It’s time that we have this in writing.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.

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