Serving Franklin County, WA

Resident calls for Lind transparency

Candidate challenges City Council

LIND — A local woman believes town officials need to be more transparent when conducting the public’s business.

During the July 11 Town Council meeting, resident Briana Osborn, who is also running for Town Council Position No. 5, called for more transparency.

During the meeting, she noted having several disputes in the past with the council regarding public access to meetings,

During public comment, she suggested the council create a public social media page and post recordings of the meetings, noting the recordings would be impartial because they wouldn’t be edited by the council or staff.

Her suggestion was met with mixed responses from council members and Mayor Paula Bell, who opening rejected the idea.

In her opposition, Bell said meeting notices are announced at the local post office, 119 W. Second Ave., and other public areas.

But residents were enthusiastic about the idea.

A few mentioned options including Zoom, Facebooklive and YouTube.

Osborn said the Municipal Research and Services Center is pushing for local governments to have an option for online viewing, as well as a “call-in” feature to speak during public comment.

Osborn also mentioned Revised Code of Washington 42.30.030, the Open Public Meetings Act.

“Public agencies are encouraged to provide for the increased ability of the public to observe and participate in the meetings of governing bodies through telephonic, electronic, internet or other available means of remote access” Osborn said when reading the law.

Because the law only encourages – it does not mandate – those offerings, Osborn implored the council to seriously consider the idea. She also said there are residents willing to help put it together, herself included.

“I am all about the facts” Osborn said. “It is our constitutional right to come to public meetings and speak.”

Councilmen Mike Wold and Robert Dew expressed interest in the idea.


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