What’s Happening Now?
Public Records Request
On behalf of Home Rule Skagit, three Skagit citizens have requested public records regarding Commissioners Wesen and Dahlstedt’s campaign activities in opposition to the charter measure. The request was submitted on January 31, 2019 (click here for Public Records Request).
It is not permitted to use county resources to campaign for or against a ballot measure unless the Board of Commissioners has voted to take a position on that issue. The Skagit Board of Commissioners did not take such a vote. Home Rule Skagit wants to make sure that the campaign activities engaged in by Commissioners Dahlstedt and Wesen were proper.
Although the County is required to respond to public records requests within 5 days, we received the first installment of documents from Skagit County on February 27, 2019. Virtually all documents provided were completely redacted (including the date of the document), and were accompanied by blanket claims of attorney/client privilege asserted for any communications between County personnel and the Prosecutor’s Office.
In response to the near total black out, we sent a follow up letter to the Public Records Officer on March 5, 2019 (click here for full text).
Two additional installments of documents were received on March 25, and April 23, 2019 encompassing more than four gigabytes of material. Again, nearly all documents were completely redacted, and attorney/client privilege was asserted.
Monday, June 17, 2019 we submitted a new public records request specifically for documents requested in the original request, but not included in any material received (click here for full text of second request).
Lobbyist gives public report after our request to Commissioner Janicki
On May 30, 2019, for the first time in county history, a lobbyist contracted with Skagit County gave an on-camera report to the Board of Commissioners and members of the public about their lobbying efforts during the 2019 Washington State legislative session.
This public report was the result of a specific request by members of Home Rule Skagit as we continue to advocate for more transparent and accountable county government.
Two Skagit citizens met with Commissioner Lisa Janicki (the Board of Commissioners Chair for 2019) on February 12, 2019 with 3 specific requests to improve transparency in county government.
First, that Commissioner meetings be held in the evening once a month to permit people to attend the meetings and give public comments without having to take time off work.
Second, that the newly contracted lobbying firm hired by Skagit County (at $9200 a month) provide regular reports to the public about their work.
And third, that the lobbying firm notify the public about opportunities for citizens to support the county’s legislative or policy goals (for full text of written request to Commissioner Janicki, click here).