Okanogan County Commissioners introduce citizen call-in period

Commissioner Chris Branch represents District 1 in South Okanogan County.

Commissioner Jim DeTro represents District 3 in North Okanogan County.

Commissioner Andy Hover represents District 2 in West Okanogan County. Photos courtesy of OkanoganCounty.org


OKANOGAN – A new call-in feature will debut on a trial basis at the regular Tuesday, March 12 meeting of the Okanogan County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) to allow citizens who cannot attend the proceedings in person to deliver their comments and questions by phone.

At 4 p.m., Tuesday, March 12, citizens can call 509-422-7100 during the regular BOCC meeting. Time is limited and calls will be taken in the order received as the board works to increase citizen input.

The new citizen participation opportunity is being tried at the suggestion of Okanogan County Watch member Emily Sisson who records the BOCC public meetings with monthly notes and video which are then posted on the group’s website, www.countywatch.org.

At the BOCC meeting last February, Sisson suggested that owing to the large geographic area that comprises Okanogan County, the Commissioners consider extending the comment opportunity to citizens who find it otherwise difficult to attend the meetings. Attendance at BOCC meeting comment periods has been low to date and the call-in option offers an alternative way for citizens to have their voices heard.

Sisson got the idea for the call-in service after learning that the Washington State Senate allows citizens to submit video testimony from some 16 locations around the state.

Okanogan County Watch promotes transparency in government through volunteers who attend and document various county government meetings such as the BOCC and post their results on the County Watch website.




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