County considering daytime board meetings

Until 2007 county commissioner meetings, the regular meetings, were in the daylight hours. Thinking they would get more participation by holding them at night they moved them to the evening. That participation, according to the commissioners, has not happened.

The county has issued a press release saying the commissioners are considering changing the meeting times, but it reads as if the decision has been pretty well made. The board will reserve the right to hold special meetings at special times and in different places. The full discussion of this idea is scheduled for the board’s 7 p.m. meeting on Monday (Feb. 13).

The county’s press release follows:

County Commissioners consider moving regular business meetings to Monday mornings
Public hearing set for February 13th meeting

(Port Orchard) – The Kitsap Board of County Commissioners is looking to move their twice-monthly business meetings to Monday mornings starting with the February 27th meeting. A public hearing on the matter is scheduled during the Board’s regular meeting Monday (2/13) night. “We’re balancing the desire for public participation with cost containment while building greater flexibility and responsiveness in the process,” said Robert Gelder, Board Chair. The Board holds regular business meeting the second and fourth Monday of each month in the Commissioners’ chambers at the Administrative Building in Port Orchard.

Board meetings were moved to a 7:00 p.m. start in November of 2007 to encourage more community participation. Outside of public hearings there has been little change in the public participation. A large commitment of staff time is required for regular business, and the costs associated with that are part of the decision to move to daytime meetings. The Board maintains the ability to hold special meetings when topics arise that are better heard in the evening, or when a regional topic is better heard at a location other than the Courthouse. The Board is also adding an online option to submit comments related to agenda items for those that cannot attend the Board meetings in person. “The Board meetings are broadcast live and will be available on demand through BKAT. Video recordings of each meeting are posted to the County’s web and also available at the County’s video site on Vimeo,” added Gelder.

If the change is made BKAT (Channel 3 on Wave Cable systems and channel 12 on Comcast) will broadcast meetings live at 10:00 a.m. and repeat the broadcast at 7 p.m. on Mondays. It also rebroadcasts at 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday following a regularly scheduled meeting. The previous meeting airs at the same times on the weeks opposite regularly scheduled business meetings.

Video of meetings is available on the County’s web site AT (http://www.kitsapgov.com/boc/MtgVideos/default.htm), and at the County’s Vimeo site (http://vimeo.com/kitsap). Videos are usually posted by Wednesday following the Monday meeting. Residents can sign up to receive Board agendas from the County’s home page at www.kitsapgov.com. Choose the “Sign up for Electronic Notification” icon at the top of the right sidebar and follow the directions from there. In addition to meetings agendas residents can subscribe to various calendars, inclement weather information and other topics of interest. Resident who wish to submit comments regarding Board meeting agenda items can do so at http://www.kitsapgov.com/boc.

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