The Washington County Board of Commissioners follows these meeting procedures in accordance with the County Charter as revised by the voters in 2008.
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.
Prior to the Board's regular business meetings, the Commissioners will meet for a general public work session 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 work session 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 work session, retreat or similar informal meeting. Minutes will be recorded of these meetings.
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 work session, 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 Chair will designate the location of these meetings 96 hours in advance.
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 work session 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 work session 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:
- Call to Order: At the start of the meeting, the Chair (or Vice Chair) of the Board will call the meeting to order.
- Oral Communication (for any items not scheduled for a public hearing): This is the time when members of the audience may step forward at the start of the meeting to address the Board. This opportunity is time-limited to two minutes per individual and a maximum of 10 minutes total per topic regarding items not scheduled for public hearing. 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.
- 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 Chair 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.
- Presentations, Proclamations, Boards and Commissions
- Public Hearings: Special rules regarding testimony and time limits may be established by the Board at the start of the hearing.
- Regular Agenda Items: Regular agenda items are also known as “action” items. These items are less formal and are not public hearing items but still require the Board to take individual action on them.
- Second Opportunity for Oral Communication (for any items not scheduled for public hearing): As noted above, this is the second opportunity for the public to address the Board if more than two 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.
- 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.
- Adjournment: At the conclusion of the items on the Board’s agenda, the Board Chair will formally conclude the Board’s regular business meeting.
Alternatives to Televised Proceedings
An alternative format to the televised proceedings of the meetings of the Washington County Board of Commissioners is available on request. Interested individuals may call 503-846-8685 and request a verbatim transcript for this meeting. Those with hearing impairments may call 9-711 to relay requests for transcripts.
Assistive Listening Devices
Assistive Listening Devices are available for persons with impaired hearing and can be scheduled for this meeting by calling 503-846-8685 no later than 5 p.m., on the Monday preceding the meeting. Persons with hearing impairments may call 9-711.
Sign Language and Interpreters
The County will also upon request endeavor to arrange for the following services to be provided:
- Qualified sign language interpreters for persons with speech or hearing impairments; and
- Qualified bilingual interpreters.
Since these services must be scheduled with outside service providers, it is important to allow as much lead-time as possible. Please notify the County of your need by 5 p.m. on the Thursday preceding the meeting date at 503-846-8685. Persons with hearing impairments may call 9-711.