Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Washington Winners: Public Meeting Transparency Online

by Matt Rosenberg September 4th, 2012

Below: the Washington state winners and champions in public meeting transparency online. They not only put meeting agendas online; they use software platforms which put into those online agendas, individual links to individual business items. This is far more user-friendly than the next-best practice, which is to bundle all the agenda packet documents into one .pdf file dozens or hundreds of pages long. This way constituents, reporters and other information seekers can see exactly what elected officials are considering – on an item-by-item basis – and can link to the specific documents in their online communications at web sites, blogs and in social media, boosting accuracy and accountability for online news and commentary. That’s something badly needed in these times. The Winners List follows. It is made up of direct links to the most user-friendly, document-rich agenda pages of local and regional governments in Washington state, grouped by county.

(More Context).

ADAMS COUNTY
Othello City Council

BENTON COUNTY
Richland School Board

CHELAN COUNTY
Chelan City Council

CLALLAM COUNTY
Port Angeles School Board
Sequim City Council

CLARK COUNTY
Clark County Board
La Center School Board
Vancouver City Council
Vancouver Port Board
Vancouver School Board

COWLITZ COUNTY
Cowlitz County Board
Woodland School Board

GRANT COUNTY
Quincy City Council
Quincy School Board

GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY
Ocean Shores City Council
Westport City Council

ISLAND COUNTY
Island County Board
Oak Harbor School Board
South Whidbey School Board

JEFFERSON COUNTY
Jefferson County Board
Port Townsend City Council

KING COUNTY
Bellevue City Council
Black Diamond City Council
Bothell City Council
Highline School Board
Issaquah School Board
Kenmore City Council
Kent City Council
Kent School Board
King County – index of links to council legislation & reports to council
King County Library Board
Kirkland City Council
Lake Forest Park City Council
Mercer Island City Council
Mercer Island School Board
Northshore School Board
Redmond City Council
Renton City Council
Renton School District
Seattle City Council
Seattle City Council Committees
Seattle School Board
Port of Seattle Board
Shoreline City Council
Snoqualmie City Council
Sound Transit Board
Tahoma School Board
Woodinville City Council

KITSAP COUNTY
Bainbridge Island City Council (use calendar, click on Wednesdays, then “agenda”)
Bremerton City Council
North Kitsap School Board
South Kitsap School Board

LINCOLN COUNTY
Davenport School District Board

MASON COUNTY
North Mason School Board
Shelton City Commission

OKANAGAN COUNTY
Omak School Board

PIERCE COUNTY
Bethel School Board
DuPont City Council
Fife City Council
Gig Harbor City Council
Puyallup City Council
Steilacoom School Board
University Place City Council

SAN JUAN COUNTY
Friday Harbor Town Council
San Juan County Board
San Juan Island School Board

SKAGIT COUNTY
Anacortes City Council
Anacortes School District

SKAMANIA COUNTY
North Bonneville City Council

SNOHOMISH COUNTY
Edmonds City Council
Edmonds School Board
Everett City Council
Everett School Board
Lynnwood City Council
Marysville City Council
Monroe School Board
Mountlake Terrace City Council
Mukilteo City Council
Mukilteo School Board
Port Of Everett Agendas
Port Of Everett “Document Central”
Snohomish County Council
Stanwood-Camano School Board

SPOKANE COUNTY
Central Valley School District
Spokane County Board
West Valley School District

STEVENS COUNTY
Colville City Council
Colville School District

THURSTON COUNTY
Griffin School Board
Lacey City Council
Tumwater City Council

WHATCOM COUNTY
Bellingham City Council
Bellingham School Board
Bellingham Port Board
Ferndale School Board

YAKIMA COUNTY
Sunnyside City Council
Wapato School Board
Yakima City Council

MORE CONTEXT
Sitting through an entire city council or school board meeting, or even finding time to attend a portion of one, is increasingly difficult. And there are far more efficient ways to harvest related information. Item-specific video of public meetings is useful, but the root document(s) should be key to online reporting and commentary.

This short list above is drawn from previous indexes we have already published rating local and regional governments on online meeting document disclosure, in counties outside the Seattle region, and local-only indexes in the Seattle-region counties of King , Snohomish, and Pierce.

We understand that online government transparency has many facets. The above-mentioned indexes and sibling indexes to City of Seattle government, King County regional governments, and Washington state government also include links to other government “Deep Web” pages revealing contracting activities, disciplinary actions, legal rulings, performance audits, ethics probes, a wide range of outcomes data, and more. It’s also clear that online government transparency involves a growing emphasis on open data and data visualization. But for local and regional elected bodies, it all starts with user-friendly agenda-item document disclosure.


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