Editorials

Good decision, bad decision-making process for new courthouse

We’re happy with the Thurston County Commission’s decision to locate a new courthouse complex on Plum Street in Olympia. But we are emphatically not happy with the way they did it.

The commission had canceled its regular board meeting Tuesday, and scheduled only a closed-door executive session, which state law allows for discussion of some sensitive matters, but no action can be taken there. So the public assumption would be that there would be no vote that day.

However, the commission emerged from behind those closed doors and immediately took a hasty vote, with no prior public notification and no livestream coverage. That certainly violates the spirit of the open public meetings law.

They also ignored Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby’s request to hold off voting for a few weeks while the Olympia City Council discusses the very thorny question of where the city would find $32 million to pay for its share of the new building, which also will house the city’s municipal court.

We had hoped for a better start to the commission’s new year. We remain hopeful that they will mend their ways.

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