FAQ - Board of Commissioners

Meeting Information

Are Assistive Listening Devices Available for Board Meetings?

Assistive Listening Devices are available for persons with impaired hearing and can be scheduled for this meeting by calling 503-846-8611 (voice) or 503-846-4598 (TDD - Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf) no later than 5:00 p.m., on the Monday preceding the meeting.

Are Sign Language and Interpreters Available for Board Meeting Assistance?

The County will also upon request endeavor to arrange for the following services to be provided:
1. Qualified sign language interpreters for persons with speech or hearing impairments; and
2. 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 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday preceding the meeting date (same phone numbers as listed above: 503-846-8611 or 503-846-4598).

Are there Alternatives to Televised Board Meeting 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 the telephone number or TTY number noted below and request a verbatim transcript for this meeting.

What are the Guidelines on Speaking to the Board of Commissioners?

Meeting Protocol The Board of Commissioners welcomes public attendance and participation at its meetings. Anyone wishing to speak on an agenda item at a regular business meeting should feel free to do so. In doing so, the Board asks that the following guidelines be observed: 1. Please follow sign-in procedures located on the table by the entrance to the auditorium. 2. When your name is announced, please be seated at the table in front and state your name and home address (optional) for the record. If not stating address, please write it down for the record. 3. Groups or organizations wishing to make a presentation are asked to designate one spokesperson in the interest of time and to avoid repetition. 4. When more than one citizen is heard on any matter, please avoid repetition in your comments. Careful attention to the previous speaker’s remarks will be helpful in this regard.

What is a Regular Board Meeting vs. Worksession?

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 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 work¬session meetings to hold their agenda comments and questions for the regular business meeting.

What is an Executive Session?

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.

What is the Board of Commissioners Meeting schedule?

First Tuesdays: Worksession 8:30 a.m. Regular Business Meeting 10:00 a.m.
Second Tuesdays: Extended Worksession 8:30 a.m.
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: Generally, the Board does not meet on the fifth Tuesday of the month, unless it is deemed necessary by the Chairman. Should a Board meeting be scheduled on the fifth Tuesday of the month, timely notification will be given.

What is the Board's Schedule on the Second Tuesday 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.

What is the Board's Schedule 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

What is the Order of the Board Meeting?

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

• Call to Order: At the start of the meeting, the Chairman (or Vice Chair) of the Board will call the meeting to order.
• Consent Agenda: The items on the Consent Agenda are considered routine and will all be adopted in one motion unless a Board member or person in the audience 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.
• 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 and 10 minutes total. 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.
• 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 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.
• Second Opportunity for Oral Communication (for non-agenda items): 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.

What is the Time Limit for Public Testimony on Ordinances?

Public testimony for ordinances may be presented within the following time limits:
First and second hearing - 3 minutes for individuals and 12 minutes for groups
Additional hearings - 2 minutes for individuals and 5 minutes for groups