Procedures

The Washington County Board of Commissioners follows these meeting procedures in accordance with the County Charter as revised by the voters in 2008.

Meeting Location

Meetings are held at the Charles D. Cameron Public Services Building, 155 N. First Avenue, Hillsboro, Oregon 97124.

Current Meeting Schedule

  • First Tuesdays: Worksession 8:30 a.m. Regular Business Meeting 10:00 a.m.
  • Second Tuesdays: See "Second Tuesdays" section below.
  • Third Tuesdays: Worksession 8:30 a.m. Regular Business Meeting 10:00 a.m.
  • Fourth Tuesdays: Worksession 2:00 p.m. Regular Business Meeting 6:30 p.m.
  • Fifth Tuesdays: See the "Fifth Tuesday" section below.

Meeting Types

Regular Business Meetings
Regular business meetings are the time during which the Board will consider the items published in their Board Agenda at the times noted above.

Worksessions
Prior to the Board's regular business meetings, the Commissioners will meet for a general public worksession in Room 140 of the Public Services Center according to the schedule above. The purpose of this meeting is to provide the Board an opportunity to conduct informal communications with each other, review the agenda and identify questions they may have for staff before taking action on the agenda items in their regular business meeting. The Board typically asks our citizens observing the worksession meetings to hold their agenda comments and questions for the regular business meeting.

Second Tuesdays of the Month
The Board has designated the second Tuesday of each month as a time that may be set aside for in-depth discussion of broader, strategic policy issues. Accordingly, Board consideration/action on regularly scheduled agenda items normally set on the second Tuesday of each month will be held only if necessary to make decisions that, in the Board's judgment, cannot be reasonably held over to a regularly scheduled meeting. If formal actions are not considered on these Tuesdays, the Board may use this time to conduct an informal worksession, retreat or similar informal meeting. Minutes will be recorded of these meetings.

Board Meetings When There is a Fifth Tuesday in a Month
Historically, the Board has not held meetings when there is a fifth Tuesday in a month. Since May of 1999, the Board has set aside these fifth Tuesdays to hold a worksession, retreat or similar informal meeting. The purpose of these meetings is to provide the Board some additional time to focus on specific issues on a more in depth basis. Unlike its regular Board meetings, these informal meetings are not recorded verbatim, but minutes will be taken as required by law. No formal actions will be taken during these meetings unless special meeting notices are provided as outlined in the Board's Rules of Procedure. The Chairman will designate the location of these meetings 96 hours in advance.

Executive Sessions
There are times when the Board must discuss confidential matters such as lawsuits, real estate transactions (or other sales transactions) and labor relations matters. When the Board calls an executive session (posted on the worksession agenda), it is done under the guidelines allowed for by Oregon State law. Each type of executive session generally fits under one of three types of State Laws that allow such closed sessions. These statutes are indicated on the worksession item. Although the press is allowed to remain in the room, they are not allowed to report on executive session issues. The Board recognizes the sensitivity of conducting closed sessions and only conducts them when confidentiality is required (and allowed by law) to protect the interests of Washington County and its taxpayers.

Once the Regular Business Meeting Begins

The Board's formal meetings typically include the following elements:

1. Call to Order: At the start of the meeting, the Chairman (or Vice Chair) of the Board will call the meeting to order.

2. Consent Agenda: The items on the Consent Agenda are considered routine and will all be adopted in one motion unless a Board member requests, before the vote on the motion, to have the item considered separately. If any item is removed from the Consent Agenda, the Chairman will indicate when it will be discussed in the regular agenda. A list of Consent Agenda items is included at the end of the agenda packet.

3. Oral Communication (for non-agenda items): This is the time when members of the audience may step forward to address the Board. This opportunity is time-limited to 2 minutes per individual. If more time is needed, another (longer) oral communication opportunity is available at the end of the regular agenda. Speakers may select only one Oral Communication opportunity.

4. Public Hearings: The Board will generally conduct all public hearings before regular agenda items. Special rules regarding testimony and time limits may be established by the Board at the start of the hearing.

5. Regular Agenda Items: Regular agenda items are also known as "action" items and will follow the public hearings. These items are less formal than the public hearings but still provide the public the opportunity to comment on the proposed actions.

6. Second Opportunity for Oral Communications (for non-agenda items): As noted above, this is the second opportunity for the public to address the Board if more than 2 minutes are needed. This opportunity is time-limited to 5 minutes per individual and 10 minutes per topic. The maximum time for Oral Communication is 30 minutes.

7. Board Announcements: This is typically the time when the Board may want to provide other Board members, staff or the public with information regarding items that may or may not be on the Board's agenda.

8. Adjournment: At the conclusion of the items on the Board's agenda, the Board Chair will formally conclude the Board's regular business meeting.

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