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Explaining Washington's Open Public Meetings Act

Ted S. Warren
AP Photo
Seattle City Council president Bruce Harrell, left, speaks, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, during a council meeting at City Hall in Seattle.

The City of Seattle is being sued for violating the Open Public Meetings Act. The three attorneys who filed the suit claim the city didn’t notify the public adequately ahead of a city council meeting Tuesday, during which the council voted to repeal a “head tax” on large businesses.

The council passed that ordinance unanimously last month.

In a letter to Mayor Jenny Durkan, City Attorney Pete Holmes goes into detail about the ways he says the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act were met.

KNKX law and justice reporter Paula Wissell talked with Morning Edition producer Ariel Van Cleave about the standards of the act, and why it exists in the first place.

Paula is a former host, reporter and producer who retired from KNKX in 2021. She joined the station in 1989 as All Things Considered host and covered the Law and Justice beat for 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.
Ariel first entered a public radio newsroom in 2004 while in school at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. It was love at first sight. After graduating from Bradley, she went on to earn a Master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Ariel has lived in Indiana, Ohio and Alaska reporting on everything from salmon spawning to policy issues concerning education. She's been a host, a manager and now rides shotgun with Kirsten Kendrick as the Morning Edition producer at KNKX.