Freedom Foundation

Oral arguments televised live in Lincoln County transparency hearing

Tiny Lincoln County in Northeast Washington made history four years ago by opening its collective bargaining negotiations to the public. In the past, local governments and unions negotiated personnel contracts — typically the largest single line item in a government’s budget — in complete secrecy. But as Rob Coffman of Lincoln County says, “We have public employees and public officials negotiating with the public’s money, so what do we have to hide?”

Friday, Sep 18, 2020, marked another chapter in a seemingly never-ending battle for transparency that could be compared to Jarndyce and Jarndyce, an interminable legal proceeding from Charles Dickens fictional novel “Bleak House.”

Freedom Foundation attorney, Caleb Jon Vandenbos, argued on behalf of Lincoln County, before the Court of Appeals, Division III, in Spokane.