Open government – how do we stack up?

By Pat Grubb

On July 1, 2014, all public elected officials in Washington state were required by the 2014 Open Government Trainings Act to take basic open government training covering public records, records retention and open public meetings. The act was enacted by the state legislature with bipartisan support at the request of the state attorney general. A 2012 state auditors office report noted more than 250 open public government issues among local governments.

Failure to abide with the open public government laws has led to some hefty monetary penalties against state and local agencies in recent years. In a sense, the act can be considered a form of risk management and was intended to improve trust in government while preventing costly lawsuits against local governments.

Recently, the All Point Bulletin emailed local government agencies asking them to produce records that demonstrate that their respective elected officials had complied with the act and the dates and method of compliance.

Here are the results:

Point Roberts Park and Recreation District commissioners

Official                       Date of compliance

Mark Robbins              March 2015

Steven Falk                  March 2015

Linda Hughes              Not trained

Mary Edgley                Not trained

Doug Shier                  Not trained


Point Roberts Water District commissioners

Official                                  Date of compliance

Scott Hackleman                   July 2014

Madeleine Anderson            April 2015

Bill Meursing                         No information provided


Point Roberts Hospital District commissioners

Official                        Date of compliance

Robin Nault                 December 2014

Dick Williams              November 2014

Kandace Harper           April 2015 (appointed commissioner 4/27/2015; trained 4/30/2015)


Point Roberts Fire District commissioners

Official                       Date of compliance

Bill Meursing              No information provided

Stan Riffle                   No information provided

Jeff Wilmot                 No information provided

  1. what will happen now to those officials who fail to get the training?


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