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Kent forum April 18 to discuss public records, open meetings laws

Learn about the public's right to access government information at a free forum Wednesday, April 18 at the Kent Senior Activity Center.

Why is the state Department of Ecology facing huge fines over violations of the Public Records Act? What is the problem with the Everett School Board? What did the Whatcom County Council do to violate the Open Public Meetings Act?

Answers to these and other perplexing questions will be found when the Washington Coalition for Open Government (WCOG) and the League of Women Voters of Seattle/King County present a special program focusing on Washington’s Public Records and Open Meetings laws from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Senior Center, 600 E. Smith St.

A panel of expert presenters will fuel the discussion on securing and preserving the public’s legal right to access the records and proceedings of the government agencies created to serve the people of the state, according to a WCOG media release. Public officials are urged to attend to reinforce their knowledge of their obligation to observe these laws.

The panelists include:

Toby Nixon, WCOG president and Kirkland City Council member; State Sen. Pam Roach (R-Auburn); Tim Ford, assistant state attorney general; and state archivist Jerry Handfield. Sam Pace, a Kent resident and WCOG treasurer, will moderate the discussion.

The forum will include questions from the audience.

The Seattle-based Washington Coalition for Open Government is a statewide non-partisan, nonprofit group of individuals and organizations dedicated to strengthening and preserving the public’s right to know what its government is doing. The Coalition has presented a series of similar programs around the state to educate the citizens of Washington on their rights of access.

For more information, contact the Washington Coalition for Open Government, at 206-782-0393 or by email at info@washingtoncog.org.

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