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Open Public Meetings Act keeps light shining on government action.

The Open Public Meetings Act is a very important piece of legislation that essentially helps to ensure that the actions and deliberations of all public commissions, boards, councils, committees, subcommittees, departments, divisions, offices and all other public agencies of the state--while conducting the people's business (yours and mine)--be done openly.

In fact, the pertinent RCW makes the following powerful statement: "The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created."

Aside from the following three broad exceptions (comprising 13 specific purposes):

1. Consideration of real estate acquisition

2. Discussions of potential litigation

3. Discussions involving employee performance

Citizens have the right and need to stay informed of their government's activities through participating in the various public meetings.

Interestingly, a knowing or intentional violation of the Act may provide a legal basis for recall of an elected member of a governing body.

To learn more, please visit the BNCW website at

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Title Annotation:Did you know?
Publication:Wenatchee Business Journal
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U9WA
Date:Apr 1, 2013
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