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August 14, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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August 14, 2014

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Shelton citizens ask for public union contract negotiations Proposition has gathered more than 600 signatures from dry residents By NATALIE JOHNSON nata/ie@masoncounty, oom A group of Shelton citizens are try- ing to change the way the city negoti- ates contracts with its union employ- ees. "I really get tired of people who complain all the time but don't do anything," said Diane Good, one of several residents who organized two petitions on the city's collective bar- gaining practices. The first proposition, called the Collective Bargaining Transparency Act, which garnered 654 signatures from Shelton residents, requires that the city notify employees and mem- bers of the public before meetings between city staff and commissioners and the bargaining unit. It also requires that all meetings on collective bargaining be open to the public. While contracts between organiza- tions such as cities and unions are public record, the process to negotiate those contracts are generally held be- hind closed doors. "I think people should have choices," Good said. "I'd kind of like to know how they decide what they're negotiating." RCW 42.30.110, a portion of the Public Records Act, allows for com- missioners to meet in an executive session to (d) "to review negotiations on the performance of publicly bid contracts when public knowledge re- garding such considerations would cause a likelihood of increased costs." The second proposition, called the Collective Bargaining Protections Act, would prohibit union security clauses, or a contractual requirement Tor employees to maintain union membership. It also prohibits the "gifting of public funds for the ben- efit of City of Shelton unions" and prohibits "public work stoppages," or strikes. Pat Tarzwell, another resident in- volved with the petitions, said each proposition needed 25 percent of the votes cast in the last city of Shelton mayoral race, or 476 registered vot- ers. Since June, they have gathered 654 signatures for the first proposi- tion, and 566 for the second. "How can we hold our government officials accountable if they hide from us what they're doing?" Tarzwell said. There's not enough transparency in what's going on in our government." City Administrator Dave O'Leary said he and city staff members will review the petitions with the city's le- gal council to determine whether the proposals are legal under state law. I think they've put in a lot of work," he said. Tarzwell said he hoped the initia- tives could be on the ballot by Novem- ber, however, Mason County Auditor Karen Herr said the group missed the Aug. 5 deadline to place a measure on the general election ballot. "We are definitely too late for the November ballot," O'Leary said. "That gives us some time to look at it and think about it." The initiative could be placed on the ballot as soon as the Feb. 11 elec- tion, Herr said. The Mason County Auditor's Of- fice will be responsible for checking the signatures to ensure they were all from registered voters within the city limits. After the Auditor's Office con- firms that the petitions have enough signatures, the group will need to submit a resolution to the Auditor's Office, and it will be placed on the ballot, Herr said. TOO LATE TO CLASSIFY SPACIOUS HOOD Canal waterfront studio apart- ment. With Jacuzzi-type bath, real wood-burning stove, full-size kitchen, TV, internet, laundry. Furnished or unfurnished. $775. Clams, oysters and HBO. Could you ask for anything more? Call 360-877-5501. (M 8/14) BEST BUY on brand new home! Waterfront on Lost Lake, 2 stories, custom design, private dock. Buy it now and enjoy for the rest of the summer. Only $249,5000. MLS 553085. 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MacEwen jumped with campaign staff, supporters and his son, Robert; County lodging tax advisory committee seeks grant applications STAFF REPORT news@masoncoun com The Mason County Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) is seek- ing grant applications from events and festivals for 2015 ..... The LTAC board reviews applica- tions each year for grants to help ad- vertise festivals that promote tourism in the county. The committee will review appli- cations in October and make recom- mendations on funding to the Mason County Board of Commissioners. Grant applications will be accepted until 4 p.m. Sept. 30. The applica- tions are available at co nason.wa.us/ forms/tourism or by calling 427-9670, ext. 419. i10 Gift Ce ificate with your new subscription to the Journal! 426-4412 Enjoy delicious food from Osaka Sushi & Asian Bistro as our way of saying "Thank You" 9":'/ 91t')