Mattawa looks to the legislature to make filling agency easier

Print Article

To combat the difficulties Mattawa has had filling its Civil Service Commission, the town is deploying municipal lawyer Katherine Kenison to lobby the legislature to simplify the process during the upcoming legislative session.

Mattawa has struggled to fill the commission, a government agency which oversees hiring, firing and promotions in local police and fire departments, and is meant as a buffer between these processes and the elected officials who oversee civil employees. Were the mayor or police chief attempt to hire or fire a police officer without the commission’s input, it would be a misdemeanor offense.

Now, down one officer and another about to earn maternity leave, the town may soon find itself unable to keep its police force fully staffed.

The three-seat commission has had insufficient members to fulfill its duties on and off for the better part of a year, and although there are two applicants currently awaiting approval by the mayor, there is currently no one serving in the agency. Even when there are a sufficient number of applicants, the churn of commissioners means a regular loss of needed expertise, Kenison said.

To make it easier to recruit and retain commissioners, Kenison wants the legislature to reduce the qualification that applicants must be a resident for three years to one year, and to also allow towns in the same county to merge commissions. This would widen the applicant pool, Kenison said, meaning vacancies could likely be filled sooner.

Kenison said that she has pitched the idea to local legislators and doesn’t expect too much pushback from the legislature. She said she’d be surprised if there wasn’t at least a reduction in the residency requirement, but worries that revisiting a law from almost a century ago could tempt lawmakers to complicate a simple bill with “friendly amendments”--which may cause as many problems for small towns as they fix.

The legislative session begins Jan. 14, and any modifications to existing law likely wouldn’t come into effect before late July, 90 days after the session ends.

Print Article

Read More Political

Local FFA officers seeking donations for service project

February 13, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald MOSES LAKE — Local District 9 FFA officers are seeking donations for their upcoming leadership event, to be held during FFA week, Feb. 16-23. This year, they will be making tie blankets to give to me...

Comments

Read More

Bill would limit labeling of non-mammal ‘milk’

February 06, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Columbia Basin Herald OLYMPIA — Newly proposed legislation would make it illegal to sell products called milk that are not produced by mammals. Almond milk, oat milk, and other non-dairy milks could not be referred to or...

Comments

Read More

Adams County Sheriff won’t enforce new gun control regulations

February 06, 2019 at 2:26 pm | The Royal Register RITZVILLE — Adams County Sheriff Dale Wagner has just added his name to the number of Eastern Washington law enforcement agency heads who “will not enforce I-1639 as it is currently written,” accordi...

Comments

Read More

Ybarra appointed to replace Manweller

January 16, 2019 at 4:24 pm | The Royal Register EPHRATA — County commissioners from Grant, Kittitas, Lincoln and Yakima counties voted Monday to appoint Quincy resident Alex Ybarra to the state legislature. Ybarra will replace outgoing Rep. Matt...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

509-770-1227
705 E. Hemlock (downstairs)
Othello, WA 99344

©2019 Sun Tribune Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X