Freedom Foundation

Lincoln County First Local Jurisdiction to Make Contract Negotiations Public

The Freedom Foundation has long advocated the need for common sense policies regarding transparency at the state and local level, and today we celebrate as rural Eastern Washington’s Lincoln County commissioners make history becoming the first county in the state to pass a resolution stating their insistence that collective bargaining contracts representing public employees be negotiated publicly.

In early August, one of the commissioners contacted the Freedom Foundation about a packet we mailed to every county commissioner and council member in Washington state. In the packet was a letter urging elected officials to “make transparency their 2016 New Year’s resolution,” a model resolution and ordinance regarding open meetings involving collective bargaining, and a legal analysis of such legislation.

This is a historic day for Washington. The dam has burst, hopefully inspiring other cities and counties all across the state to follow suit. The final stand will likely be at the state level, where our current governor is unlikely to allow any light into the room of contract negations between himself and his campaign financiers.

(Pictured from left to right: Matthew Hayward, Mark R. Stedman, Rob Coffman, Scott M. Hutsell)

Take action. Contact your local elected officials and ask them if they are negotiating employees’ contracts – usually the government’s largest single budget – in secret. And if they are, let them know it’s unacceptable to do the people’s business behind closed doors.

Open the meetings to the public.

Transparency Statement

CB Transparency Resolution

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