Meeting with Asotin Co. Commissioners & City Council still up in the air

Meeting with Asotin Co. Commissioners & City Council still up in the air »Play Video
Asotin County Commissioner Brian Shinn explained to the councilors the reasoning behind having a moderator.
CLARKSTON, WA - A meeting between the Asotin County Commissioners and the Clarkston City Council is still up in the air.

The Asotin County Commissioners wrote a letter to the council first on June 4th after concerned citizens at a town hall meeting made it known they want the two parties to sit down and discuss the important issues.

After multiple letters back and forth between the two governing bodies, members of the city council said they don't want a moderator at the meeting as the commissioners have suggested. Councilor Bill Provost argued that having a moderator, that doesn't know the basis of the issues wouldn't be beneficial for the meeting.

"Well I disagree with the format that he's proposing that this be a moderated session," said Provost. "You know I don't know what the big hang up on the moderation is."

Asotin County Commissioner Brian Shinn, who was in attendance, stepped up to the mic to explain to the councilors the reasoning behind having a moderator take the lead for the discussion.

"It seemed to make sense to me that where you have two equal bodies with equal authority in different areas talking, that it might be wise to have a third party preside over that but only in the sense of a moderator," said Shinn.

The councilors moved to write a letter back to the commissioners stating the issues they'd like to discuss without a moderator. They chose not to offer tentative dates for the meeting until the details were finalized.

Here's a timeline of the discussion back and forth between the two governing parties.

In a town hall meeting held on May 21st, concerned citizens voiced to the Asotin County Commissioners and Mayor Kathleen Warren who was in attendance, on behalf of the city, that the two governments need to sit down and discuss important issues.

The Asotin County Commissioners sent a letter to the Clarkston City Council on June 4th in response to the public. The letter stated they'd like to sit down to discuss issues concerning the Aquatic Center among other topics. The commissioners suggested the meeting be open to the public in a moderated forum.

According to commissioner Jim Jeffords, the city council sent their first response back a month later on July 5th. The council wrote that they did not want the meeting open to the public and had additional topics they wanted to discuss with the commissioners.

After a discussion of the response on July 30th, the commissioners wrote back to the Clarkston City Council, asking what additional topics the council wanted to talk about and when. They also suggested the meeting be moderated by a third party for efficiency.

On August 9th, councilor Larry Baumberger wrote a letter to commissioner Jim Jeffords stating that he would attend the meeting, not in an official capacity, but only as a member of the public because his stance on the Aquatic Center hasn't changed.

Finally on Monday August 13th, the council responded by saying they don't want a moderator and don't want to set a date just yet. By that timeline, you can see that the discussion about a discussion has stretched out to nearly three months, dating back to May 21st. During all that time no solid and firm date to meet has yet to be set.