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Association of Washington Public Hospital Districts. Making Your Board and Management Team Meetings OPMA Compliant. Presenters. Ramsey Ramerman. Sven Peterson. OPMA – General Application To Committees And Sub-agencies.

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making your board and management team meetings opma compliant

Association of

Washington

Public Hospital

Districts

Making Your Board and Management Team Meetings OPMA Compliant

slide2

Presenters

Ramsey Ramerman

Sven Peterson

slide3

OPMA – General Application To Committees And Sub-agencies

Three areas of consideration to make your committee meetings comply with the spirit and letter of the Open Public Meetings Act

  • Wording in your resolutions
  • Actual functions and role of committee
  • Public perception

Presentation will focus on the wording

slide4

OPMA – General Application To Committees And Sub-agencies

The OPMA requires that all (1) “meetings” of the (2) “governing body” of a (3) “public agency” be open to the public. RCW 42.30.030.

slide5

“Meeting” occurs when a majority of the governing body meets to take an “action”

The governing body does NOT need to take a “final action” to trigger the OPMA requirements

Meetings

slide6

Meetings

“Action” is broadly defined as “the transaction of the official business of a public agency by a governing body including but not limited to”:

  • receipt of public testimony
  • deliberations
  • discussions
  • considerations
  • reviews
  • evaluations &
  • final actions
slide7

“Meeting” does not require members to be present in the same location or even interact simultaneous.

Conference call with a majority

Email exchange that includes substantive input from a majority

“Serial” meetings such as phone trees or repeated discussions

BUT simply receiving information without comment is not a meeting

The Broad Meaning of “Meeting”

slide8

Resolution Creating Committee Subject to OPMA

RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF KING COUNTY PUBLIC HOSPITAL DISTRICT NO 27

WHEREAS, Section 13 of the Bylaws of King County Public Hospital District No. 27 authorizes the District’s Board of Directors to designate and appoint such other committees as it may deem necessary or advisable; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors wishes to establish a committee to consider matters related to possible expansion; NOW, THEREFORE,

RESOLVED, that a committee of the Board of Directors, to be known as the Expansion Committee, is hereby established, which committee shall be composed of two members of the Board of Directors and three community representatives; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Expansion Committee is hereby authorized and directed to periodically review the District’s expansion plans on behalf of the Board of Directors, conduct hearings and receive public comment.

slide9

Governing Body

  • “Governing body” means

the multimember board or other policy or rule-making body

OR

any committee thereof IF the committee

      • acts on behalf of the governing body, or
      • takes public comment, or
      • conducts hearings, or
      • takes testimony

RCW 42.30.020(2)

slide10

Acts on Behalf of:

A committee acts on behalf of the governing body:

  • NOT simply because the committee “performs a specified function in the interest of the governing body.”
  • Only “when it exercises actual or … decision-making authority for the governing body.”
slide11

Takes…Public Comment

“Takes … public comment”

Not easily defined

General input from the public at large

slide12

Conducts Hearings

Hearings means

  • “A session in which official testimony and argument are presented.” OR
  • “A proceeding of relative formality (though generally less formal than a trial), generally public, with definite issues of fact or of law to be tried, in which witnesses are heard and evidence is presented.”
  • But NOT simple conferences or discussion.
slide13

Takes Testimony

Testimony means:

  • “Evidence given by a competent witness, under oath or affirmation; as distinguished from evidence derived from writings and other sources.”
slide14
Are there members of the Board on the committee?

Does the committee act on behalf of the Board?

Does the committee hold hearings or take testimony or public comment?

Summary

slide15

Resolution Creating Committee Subject to OPMA

RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF KING COUNTY PUBLIC HOSPITAL DISTRICT NO. 27

WHEREAS, Section 13 of the Bylaws of King County Public Hospital District No. 27 authorizes the District’s Board of Directors to designate and appoint such other committees as it may deem necessary or advisable; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors wishes to establish a committee to consider matters related to possible expansion; NOW, THEREFORE,

RESOLVED, that a committee of the Board of Directors, to be known as the Expansion Committee, is hereby established, which committee shall be composed of two members of the Board of Directors and three community representatives; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Expansion Committee is hereby authorized and directed to periodically review the District’s expansion plans on behalf of the Board of Directors, conduct hearings and receive public comment.

slide16

Resolution Creating Committee Not Subject to OPMA

RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF KING COUNTY PUBLIC HOSPITAL DISTRICT NO. 27

WHEREAS, Section 13 of the Bylaws of King County Public Hospital District No. 27 authorizes the District’s Board of Directors to designate and appoint such other committees as it may deem necessary or advisable; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors wishes to establish a committee to consider matters related to possible expansion; NOW, THEREFORE,

RESOLVED, that a committee of the Board of Directors, to be known as the Expansion Committee, is hereby established, which committee shall be composed of two members of the Board of Directors and three community representatives; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Expansion Committee is hereby authorized and directed to periodically review the District’s expansion plans and report to the Board of Directors; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Expansion Committee is not authorized to act on behalf of the Board of Directors, to conduct hearings, or to receive public comment. The Board of Directors may take action regarding expansion or other matters without receiving advice from the Expansion Committee.

slide17

Resolution Creating a Sub-agency Subject to the OPMA

Resolution creating a sub-agency subject to OPMA

RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF KING COUNTY PUBLIC HOSPITAL DISTRICT NO. 27

WHEREAS, Section 13 of the Bylaws of King County Public Hospital District No. 27 authorizes the District’s Board of Directors to designate and appoint such other bodies as it may deem necessary or advisable; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors wishes to establish a planning commission to consider matters related to possible expansion; NOW, THEREFORE,

RESOLVED, that a planning commission, to be known as the Planning Commission, is hereby established, which commission shall be composed of three community representatives; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Planning Commission shall report to the Board of Directors within one year regarding potential expansion plans; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors shall take no action regarding expansion until carefully considering the Planning Commission’s report, which shall be accorded substantial weight.

slide18

Sub-agency

The definition of “public agency” includes “any sub-agency of a public agency which is created by or pursuant to statute, ordinance, or other legislative act, including but not limited to planning commissions, library or park boards, commissions, and agencies.” RCW 42.30.020(1)(c).

slide19

Sub-agency

  • Must be created by “statute, ordinance or other legislative act.”
    • Ad hoc committee not created by a legislative act is not a “sub-agency.”
slide20

Sub-agency

  • Must be a “policy or rule-making body”
    • Sub-agency must provide advice that is legally necessary before the agency can act.
    • In other words, is the board required to allow this sub-agency to weigh in on an issue before the board itself can act?
slide21

Summary

  • Was the committee created by resolution?
  • Does the Board have to consider the committee’s advice before it acts?
slide22

Resolution Creating a Sub-agency Subject to OPMA

RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF KING COUNTY PUBLIC HOSPITAL DISTRICT NO. 27

WHEREAS, Section 13 of the Bylaws of King County Public Hospital District No. 27 authorizes the District’s Board of Directors to designate and appoint such other bodies as it may deem necessary or advisable; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors wishes to establish a planning commission to consider matters related to possible expansion; NOW, THEREFORE,

RESOLVED, that a planning commission, to be known as the Planning Commission, is hereby established, which commission shall be composed of three community representatives; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Planning Commission shall report to the Board of Directors within one year regarding potential expansion plans; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors shall take no action regarding expansion until carefully considering the Planning Commission’s report, which shall be accorded substantial weight.

slide23

ResolutionThat Does Not Create a Sub-agency Subject to OPMA

RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF KING COUNTY PUBLIC HOSPITAL DISTRICT NO. 27

WHEREAS, Section 13 of the Bylaws of King County Public Hospital District No. 27 authorizes the District’s Board of Directors to designate and appoint such other bodies as it may deem necessary or advisable; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors wishes to establish a planning commission to consider matters related to possible expansion; NOW, THEREFORE,

RESOLVED, that a planning commission, to be known as the Planning Commission, is hereby established, which commission shall be composed of three community representatives; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Planning Commission shall report to the Board of Directors within one year regarding potential expansion plans; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors shall be free to take any action regarding expansion or any other matter without considering the report issued by the Planning Commission and without consulting with the PlanningCommission in any manner.

slide24

Must The Meeting be Open to the Public?

Two more questions:

  • Is the topic area exempt from the OPMA?
  • Can the topic be discussed in executive session?
slide25

Topic Areas Exempt From the OPMA

The OPMA does not apply to:

  • Licensing/permitting for businesses or professionals
  • Quasi-judicial matters
  • Matters governed by the Washington Administrative Procedures Act, chapter 34.05 RCW
  • Collective bargaining
slide26

Executive Session

Eight common grounds:

  • National security
  • Acquisition of real estate
  • Sale of real estate (final decision in open meeting)
  • Evaluate charges against a public officer or employee
slide27

Executive Session

Eight common grounds continued:

  • To evaluate the qualifications of an applicant/performance review
  • To evaluate the qualifications of a candidate for appointment to elective office. Interviews and selection in public; and
  • To discuss with legal counsel in enforcement action or potential litigation
  • Quality assurance & privileging RCW 70.44.062
presenters ramsey ramerman and sven peterson

Association of

Washington

Public Hospital

Districts

Questions?

Presenters: Ramsey Ramerman and Sven Peterson

Ramsey Ramerman Sven Peterson

206.447.4674 | ramer@foster.com206.447.5955| petes@foster.com