Chapter 1.18
Agency Policies, Procedure and Operations


1.18.010    Rules of procedure for advisory committees, boards, and commissions created by ordinance or resolution.

Article I.  Meetings

1.18.020    Meeting location.

1.18.030    Meeting types.

1.18.040    Meeting notice and agenda.

1.18.050    Public hearings.

1.18.060    Minutes.

Article II.  Agency Organization

1.18.070    Membership.

1.18.080    Attendance.

1.18.090    Agency officers (excluding the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee).

1.18.100    Duties of the chair and vice chair.

Article III.  Agency Operations

1.18.110    Duty and authority.

1.18.120    Advisory role.

1.18.130    Quorum.

1.18.140    Robert’s Rules of Order.

1.18.150    Testimony at public hearings.

1.18.160    Work plan and reports.

1.18.170    Recommendations.

1.18.180    Minority opinions.

1.18.190    Conflict of interest.

1.18.200    Code of conduct.

1.18.210    Open government training.

1.18.220    Rules of procedure review.

1.18.230    Email.

1.18.240    Continuing education.

Article IV.  Staff

1.18.250    Staff liaison.

1.18.010 Rules of procedure for advisory committees, boards, and commissions created by ordinance or resolution.

As provided by Chapter 1.04 DMC, the City of DuPont (City) has established three municipal agencies to advise and provide recommendations to the Mayor and the Council.  Specifically:  the Parks and Recreation Agency; the Planning Commission; and the Tree Advisory Board.  Each agency has its own individual duties and responsibilities, as set forth in the DMC.  However, while each agency has its own unique role, these policies and conduct rules apply to all agencies and their members.  The purpose of these policies is to assist agencies in conducting City business and providing rules for individual agency members as to their responsibilities as appointed City officers.

The term “agency,” as used herein, refers to all advisory committees, commissions or boards created by ordinance or resolution and comprised of members who are appointed officers of the City.  The term “member,” as used herein, refers to any appointed officer who sits on an agency.  The term “Council,” as used herein, refers to the DuPont City Council and its elected members.

The Civil Service Commission and Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) are also City agencies.  They operate under different laws than Chapter 1.04 DMC.  To the extent these policies do not conflict with the laws and rules that govern Civil Service and LTAC, they also apply to these City agencies as well as any new agencies that may be created in the future.

Wherever there is a conflict between the law and these policies, the law shall control.  In certain circumstances, especially with the Planning Commission acting in a quasi-judicial capacity, it is recognized that the agency may need to deviate from these rules in order to meet legal and constitutional requirements.  In recognizing that certain flexibility may be needed from time to time, a failure to strictly comply with these rules shall not affect the validity of an agency action.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A)).

Article I.  Meetings

1.18.020 Meeting location.

All agency meetings will be held at a specified location in a City of DuPont facility, unless otherwise scheduled and noticed by the agency’s staff liaison on behalf of the chair.

In the case of an alternative meeting location, the staff liaison shall notify in writing the agency’s members, the City Administrator, and any other pertinent City staff.  All meetings shall be open to the public and comply with the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) as provided in Chapter 42.30 RCW.  For the purpose of this policy “in writing” includes messages sent via electronic mail.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (1.01))).

1.18.030 Meeting types.

(a) Regular meetings shall be held on a specified monthly day or date and time, with its date and time specifically stated by its enabling ordinance, or by resolution, or as mutually agreed upon by the agency members as its regular meeting when not specified by ordinance or resolution.

(b) Special meetings and workshops may be held at the agency’s discretion by request of the chair or by majority vote of the agency members at a regular meeting; or at the request of the staff liaison with approval of the chair or a majority vote of the agency members; or when the agency’s meeting is only held on an as-needed basis; or at the instruction of the Mayor or City Council.  Special meetings and workshops shall comply with all notice and conduct provisions of the Open Public Meetings Act and any other relevant rule or law.

(c) Meeting Cancellation.  Regular meetings may be canceled by request of the chair or by majority approval of the agency at a regular or special meeting, or at the request of the staff liaison with approval of the chair or a majority vote of the agency members.  A meeting may also be canceled by the chair upon notice from staff or agency members that no quorum is reasonably expected to be present or when there is no item on the agenda other than routine formalities, such as adoption of the minutes, and provide appropriate notice on the City website and City Hall bulletin as far in advance of the scheduled date and time as possible.  A regular meeting may also be canceled by order of the Mayor or by resolution from the Council.

(d) Executive Session.  A meeting closed to all but the agency members, the chair, the staff liaison, and any authorized staff member or consultants as authorized by the chair or the Mayor.  Executive sessions are closed to the public.  The topics that can be discussed at an executive session are very narrow per RCW 42.30.110.  Only discussion can take place during executive sessions.  Members cannot take any formal or informal action during executive session.  To determine if a subject or issue is appropriate to discuss in executive session, the chair shall consult with the staff liaison or City Attorney.

It is best practice to determine the need for an executive session prior to the next regular meeting and set it out in the agenda.  Before convening in executive session the chair shall announce the statutory purpose for session and at what time it shall conclude.  The chair can extend the announced time with another public announcement.

(e) Continued Meetings.  By motion and majority vote, an agency can continue a meeting into the next day or another day certain, but no continuance shall be longer than the period of time until the next regular meeting.  A continued meeting is on “pause” and no official business conducted has force or effect until the members reconvene and adjourn the meeting.

(f) Member Contact Outside of Meetings.  If sufficient members are present together, either in person or virtually through some other communication medium (e.g., email, text, telephone, social media, etc.) to form a quorum, they must take great caution to neither engage in agency business nor act in a manner creating the appearance of such engagement.  While members may speak to each other regarding agency business outside of a meeting, again, they must avoid engaging in any such conversation with a quorum of members.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (1.02))).

1.18.040 Meeting notice and agenda.

Written notice of all meetings with an agenda of matters to be considered by the agency shall be sent to the agency members, relevant City staff, individuals who have requested to be notified of City of DuPont public meetings, and other interested parties identified by the agency, at least two business days prior.  Notices of meetings and agendas should be posted on the City’s website and City Hall bulletin in advance of the meetings in compliance with and as required by the OPMA.  (For the latest procedures, please check the City’s website.)

The meeting agenda will generally follow this format, and changes to the format would be at the prerogative of the staff advisor or agency chair:

City of DuPont (and type Name of Agency)

Regular Meeting (or Special Meeting or Workshop or Other) AGENDA

Date; Time


1. Call to Order and Attendance

2. Approval of the Agenda

3. Approval of Minutes

4. Public Comment (limited to 3 minutes, per person.  A speaker cannot cede their time to others).

5. Public Hearings

6. Discussion Items

7. New Business

8. Unfinished Business

9. Other Business

a. Future Agenda Items

b. Next Meeting

c. Other Topics

d. Announcements from Members and Staff Liaison(s)

10. Member Comment

11. Adjournment

(Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (1.03))).

1.18.050 Public hearings.

Agencies shall schedule public hearings to receive testimony on policy issues approved by the Council as part of the agency’s annual work plan, or referred to the agency by the Mayor or Council after work plan approval, or as required by law.  Public hearings should typically take place at the agency’s regularly scheduled business meetings.  However, an agency may not schedule a public hearing on evenings when the City Council is in session or conducting a workshop.  Public hearings need to be published no less than 10 days prior to the date of the public hearing.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (1.04))).

1.18.060 Minutes.

Meeting minutes should be kept in line with the agenda presented at that meeting, and reflecting the agency recommendation or action on the agenda item.  Minutes are not verbatim transcripts of meetings and need not reflect that level of detail.  It is best practice for all meeting minutes to be presented and approved at the next regular agency meeting; and signed by the agency chair and staff liaison.  Minutes shall be provided to the City Clerk’s office once approved and signed.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (1.05))).

Article II.  Agency Organization

1.18.070 Membership.

Membership on the agency shall be governed by the agency’s enabling ordinance or resolution, its subsequent amendments, and applicable State or federal laws or rules.  The agency, through its staff liaison, shall immediately report any vacancies to the City Clerk’s office, with a copy to the City Administrator or designee.

It is preferred that members only sit on one agency at a time and single membership may be a requirement per ordinance for some agencies.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (2.01))).

1.18.080 Attendance.

Members are expected to attend agency meetings and to fully participate in and contribute to the work of the agency.

Any member with three consecutive unexcused absences from regular agency meetings will be removed from the agency which will render their position vacant (please refer to your specific ordinance or resolution).

If the agency’s current guideline or code is silent, the following attendance guideline applies: If a member is absent, but excused, for three consecutive meetings or 35 percent of meetings within a calendar year, the agency chair shall notify and discuss the situation with the City Administrator.  The Mayor may choose to revoke the agency member’s appointment.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (2.02))).

1.18.090 Agency officers (excluding the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee).

Except for the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (see Chapter 5.12 DMC; RCW 67.28.1817), officers of an agency typically consist of a chair and vice chair.  Refer to the appropriate DMC for specific requirements for electing or appointing officers.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (2.03))).

1.18.100 Duties of the chair and vice chair.

The chair:

(a) Shall preside over the meetings and will exercise all powers usually incident to the office, including coordination of meeting agendas with the City’s staff liaison;

(b) Shall ensure scheduled meetings start on time, that the agenda for each meeting is followed, and that agency meetings proceed in a fair and orderly manner;

(c) Shall ensure business is conducted in an efficient manner using Robert’s Rules of Order, modified Robert’s Rules, or similar;

(d) Shall preserve order and decorum, prevent and admonish members or speakers that attack the personality, professionalism, or impugn the motives of any other member, staff member, consultant, citizen or speaker, and shall confine members in debate to the questions under discussion;

(e) Shall schedule and attend a regular meeting with the staff liaison to discuss upcoming business items;

(f) Retains full rights and responsibilities to participate in deliberations and votes of the agency;

(g) Shall report to the Mayor or Council as required by ordinance or resolution, or upon request.

The vice chair shall, in the absence of the chair, perform all duties of the chair at the meeting.  If an agency does not have a “vice chair” position in the enabling ordinance, then the most senior member shall take on the duties of the chair in their absence.

In the absence of the chair and vice chair, members present may by consensus select a temporary chair to preside at the meeting.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (2.04))).

Article III.  Agency Operations

1.18.110 Duty and authority.

Each agency has been delegated specific powers and duties.  This authority is a corporate authority, meaning no one member may conduct agency or City business or act on behalf of the agency or City without permission from all members of the agency and, depending on the circumstances, possibly the permission of the Mayor or a majority vote of the Council.  Similarly, all formal actions taken by an agency shall be determined by majority vote in a public meeting complying with all the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA).

“Agency action” is any formal action voted on by the agency members.  A member, when discussing agency action or proposed agency action to the public, may discuss their opinion of the action.  However, the member comments must be in accord with the proposed action or action actually taken by the agency.  Individual members cannot generally act as a spokesperson or speak on behalf of the City or the agency.  The chair, or chair’s designee, shall serve as official spokesperson of the agency if necessary.

Generally, no member may produce agency work-product or other public records to citizens or outside organizations.  Requests for documents from the City must go through the City’s designated public records officer, the City Clerk.  If anyone requests City records from any member, members shall direct them to the City Clerk to make a public records request.  If a citizen insists on requesting public records from a member, the member shall get their name, contact information and a description of the records they seek and provide the information to the City Clerk.  A member may provide to a citizen any document or record that was made available to the public at an agency meeting or that has already been published elsewhere (e.g., on the City’s website).

A member may not disclose confidential information gained by reason of the member’s position, nor use such information for their own personal gain or benefit or the benefit of another.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (3.01))).

1.18.120 Advisory role.

The primary duty of each agency is to advise the Mayor and Council on issues within the agency’s area of authority.  Agency members, while appointive officers of the City, are not elected officials.  Consequently, their role is to serve the elected officials by providing advice that is well informed, comprehensive, fair and objective.  Members are not to provide advice that is shaped or intended to advocate for a specific group, organization, individual or personal agenda.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (3.02))).

1.18.130 Quorum.

A majority of the voting membership shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business.  Action of the agency shall be by majority vote.  A tie vote on a motion to approve shall constitute a failure of the motion.  Meetings with less than a simple majority may be conducted; however, no official actions may be taken.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (3.03))).

1.18.140 Robert’s Rules of Order.

The agency process for taking action will generally be guided by the latest revised version of Robert’s Rules of Order.  However, a meeting need not become unduly cumbersome due to strict adherence to Robert’s Rules.  Accordingly, a simplified version of Robert’s Rules or similar may be utilized.

A copy of Robert’s Rules of Order is available from the City Clerk’s office.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (3.04))).

1.18.150 Testimony at public hearings.

Agencies may need to hold public hearings as a matter of law or as instructed by the Mayor or Council.  Public hearings are an important part of the process of governance that serves two primary functions.

First, public hearings are a formal opportunity for citizens to provide their opinion directly to the members on an issue currently before the agency.

Second, public hearings are the opportunity to form a record of public comment that can be referred to and considered by the Council when reviewing the final recommendation of the agency.

(a) Public hearings shall be conducted in a manner similar to the DuPont City Council.

(b) Individuals wishing to testify at a public hearing are requested to register in advance of the start of the meeting on a form provided by the agency.

(c) Testimony shall be limited to a maximum of three minutes per speaker or to a lesser duration with simple majority consent of the agency members present at the meeting.

(d) Testifying individuals may not cede all or a part of their time to another speaker.

(e) The chair has the discretion to determine the overall length of time for the public hearing and the order in which speakers shall testify, to ask speakers to confine their comments to the public hearing topic, and to take other actions to conduct the public hearing in a fair manner and within a reasonable length of time.

(f) If the overall length of time for the public hearing appears to the chair to be insufficient for all present to provide oral testimony, the chair should announce before adjourning the meeting the alternative forms in which testimony will be accepted by the agency from those present and any deadline for testimony submittal.

(g) Once a public hearing has been concluded, the testimony taken (both by speakers as well as written comments) becomes the record for the public hearing.  It cannot be reopened to take additional testimony after the deadline for such submittals is passed.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (3.05))).

1.18.160 Work plan and reports.

The Council and/or the Mayor shall provide an annual work plan through the agency’s staff liaison.  The work plan may be very general or very detailed depending on the needs of the City in the upcoming year.  The agency chair, through the agency staff liaison, shall notify the City Administrator if the agency anticipates a change in timing or substance of an approved work plan item.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (3.06))).

1.18.170 Recommendations.

The agency shall make recommendations to the Mayor or Council, or City Administrator’s office, or City staff, as required by law or upon request from the Mayor or Council.  The City Administrator, working with the agency’s staff liaison, shall provide guidance on timing and process of the agency’s recommendation and opinion to be presented to the Mayor and Council at a regular meeting.

The chair shall approve all formal agency’s recommendations and it shall be presented to the City Council by the staff liaison in a public meeting.  The chair may delegate approval responsibility to another member due to special circumstances (e.g., the chair is unavailable, a member has unique knowledge of the subject matter, etc.).  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (3.06))).

1.18.180 Minority opinions.

Formal actions made by an agency must be passed by a majority vote of the members.  Reasonable people can come to different conclusions on a matter.  Accordingly, in the event of agency action that is intended to be the agency’s final advice or recommendation to the Mayor or Council, members who cast a dissenting vote may draft a minority opinion to be included in the agency’s final advice or recommendation and shall become part of the record.  Members may file a minority opinion either individually or collectively.  The opinion is an opportunity for a member, or members, to express to the elected officials why they chose to vote against the agency action.  Minority opinions must be written and be no more than three, single-sided, typed pages with standard margins in 12-point, New Times Roman font.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (3.07))).

1.18.190 Conflict of interest.

Agency members shall fully comply with the code of ethics for municipal officers (Chapter 42.23 RCW), appearance of fairness laws (Chapter 42.36 RCW), and any other such regulations or rules adopted by the Council regulating the conduct of any person holding appointive office within the City.  No City employee or elected official may serve as a member of any agency.  Agency members are required to be independent, impartial, and objective.  If an agency member has a conflict of interest, they shall state their conflict prior to participating in discussion.  Agency members with a conflict of interest should not vote on any matter involving any client he or she is serving or any business for which he or she is owner, corporate officer, or employee (unless said agency is LTAC, then RCW 67.28.1817 rules apply).  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (3.08))).

1.18.200 Code of conduct.

The following rules of conduct shall apply to all agency members in their capacity as appointed City officers.  Agency members are City officers and must act in accordance with this code of conduct, the ethical rules for municipal officers provided at Chapter 42.23 RCW, and any relevant local, State or federal laws or rules.  Any violation of the code of conduct, or any applicable local, State or federal laws or rules, may be cause for removal of the member from the agency at the Mayor’s discretion.

(a) It is the constant duty of each agency member to maintain respect for each other, the staff, and the public.

(b) It shall be the obligation of every agency member to be familiar with the facts in order to reach an informed and independent judgment; including, but not limited to, reviewing all provided written or recorded materials.  To discuss or vote on a matter heard at a meeting from which a member was absent, said member shall have familiarized herself or himself with the subject matter, using the file of record.

(c) Except at public meetings of an agency, its members shall not discuss specific issues scheduled, or currently before the agency with applicants, proponents, opponents, or their representatives, to the extent such discussion negotiates for, promises to convey, appears to provide, or actually provides a privilege, benefit, or exemption to the applicant, proponents, opponents, or any other person or organization, either directly or through a representative.  Questions of fact or clarification concerning these matters are to be addressed to the staff liaison or designee.  Agencies are encouraged to hold public meetings with stakeholders regarding matters currently before the agency prior to final action on a matter.

(d) Any member has a right to express personal views and opinions pursuant to our Constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech.  However, agency members are not authorized and shall not hold themselves out to be representatives of the City or make statements purporting to represent the views or decisions of the City, its staff or officials, without prior permission of the Mayor or their designee or by resolution of the Council.  This shall not prejudice the right of any dissenting members to express their minority opinion per DMC 1.18.180.

(e) Appointive officers, including all agency members, shall clearly identify that any personal statement or opinion is entirely their own and does not reflect the opinion of the City or any particular City agency.  The preferred terminology to make this distinction is:  “This is my personal opinion and does not reflect the views of the City of DuPont or its Agencies.”

(f) Each agency member decides which invitations to public and private functions can appropriately be accepted as a member of the agency.

(g) Agency members shall not engage in any profitable employment or in any personal business transaction in which the fact of membership in the agency or any knowledge of its actions unique to membership would be a qualification for such employment or a significant reason for the personal business transaction.

(h) Agency members shall not benefit financially or gain any other privilege due to their agency participation or confidential knowledge; members shall not assist in acquiring or providing others a financial benefit or other privilege due to the member’s agency participation or confidential knowledge.

(i) Agency members shall not accept gifts of more than de minimis value from persons, institutions, or their representatives concerned with matters which have been, currently are, or might come before the agency.

(j) When an agency member determines a matter before the agency involves a conflict of interest on the member’s part he/she should request permission to step down before the matter is heard, which request shall be granted by the chair and recorded by the staff liaison or designee.

(k) Where the chair considers a conflict of interest to exist, before the matter is heard, a member may be asked to request disqualification.  If the agency member declines, the chair will request that the member confer with legal counsel from the City Attorney or this matter may be decided by a majority vote of the members, other than said agency member.

(l) An agency member shall disqualify herself or himself from participating in final agency action whenever bias, interest, or other influences will prevent or appear to prevent him or her from exercising fair-minded, independent judgment on the facts and established policy.

(m) It is in the public interest that, to the greatest extent possible, all members of the agency should have an opportunity to be aware of and act upon the information that is available to other members.  Therefore, all members are encouraged to place upon the record of the agency the substance of all ex parte contacts that have occurred during the time that a matter has been introduced and is still before the agency for a decision.

(n) Members are encouraged to confer with the chair or staff liaison with any complaints or concerns regarding the actions or conduct of other agency members, staff or elected officials.  If a member is uncomfortable going to either the chair or staff liaison with complaints or concerns, they shall discuss the matter directly with HR and the City Administrator.

(o) Except for submitting a written minority opinion as provided under these policies, no agency member shall work for the frustration or the overturn of any decision made by a majority of the agency outside the framework of the agency.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (3.09))).

1.18.210 Open government training.

Consistent with the Open Government Training Act, all agency members must complete basic training in public records and the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) within 90 days of being appointed or reappointed to an agency.  Refresher training must be taken no later than every four years.  Additionally, members shall complete any trainings or certifications required by the individual agency.

For further information and for an online training, please go to:  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (3.10))).

1.18.220 Rules of procedure review.

It is recommended that the agency annually review both its rules of procedure and the agency’s establishing ordinance or resolution.  The agency chair, through the agency staff liaison, shall report any recommendations to the City Administrator.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (3.11))).

1.18.230 Email.

Email addresses may be provided to members via the staff liaison.  All correspondences including correspondence from a private email account or from a personal electronic device (e.g., phone text messages) that deal with City or agency business may be subject to public records disclosure as a matter of law.  Public records created or stored on a personal account or device remain the property of the City and are subject to the PRA.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (3.12))).

1.18.240 Continuing education.

The City shall provide, to the extent budget and scheduling allow, relevant continuing education for agency members.  Continuing education opportunities shall be developed, coordinated, and scheduled by the individual staff liaisons.  Attendance shall be mandatory for members of the agency the education is developed for, with excused absences approved by the staff liaison.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (3.13))).

Article IV.  Staff

1.18.250 Staff liaison.

Each agency shall have a City staff member assigned by the City Administrator or designee, as staff liaison to the agency.  In addition to being the primary point of contact between the agency members and both the executive and legislative branches, the staff liaison or designee has the following responsibilities:

(a) Shall provide advice to the chair and assist the chair in establishing meeting agendas and calendaring of upcoming agency business;

(b) Shall provide technical and administrative support to the agency;

(c) Shall provide information, data, trends analysis, etc., necessary for the agency to make decisions;

(d) May provide alternatives and professional recommendations to the agency on various matters before the agency;

(e) Shall arrange for any necessary outside technical or specialist support from contractors or similar;

(f) Will prepare minutes of each meeting and shall submit to City Clerk’s office after approved and signed;

(g) Shall develop the budget for the agency with the Financial Director, in compliance with all applicable City, State and federal laws and rules.  (Ord. 18-1043 § 1 (Exh. A (4.01))).