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Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
Mason County Journal
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News of Mason County, WA
October 23, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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October 23, 2014
 

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Page A-22 - Mason County Journal - Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 Testimony: LongsILore currently serving prison term continued from page A- 1 Mason County Prosecutor Mike Dorcy estimated the trial could take up to three weeks. Robert W. Raphael, 35, was also charged with murder in connection to the deaths. Richards told the jury Tues- day that Raphael will testify against Longshore during the trial in exchange for a plea agreement. Longshore's attorney, Brett Purtzer of Tacoma, disagreed with Richards' account. "The only two people who know what happened ... are Charles Longshore and Robert Raphael," Purtzer said. Purtzer argued that the evi- dence will show that Raphael pulled the trigger because Taber owed him money for methamphetamine. "(Raphael) was the local source of methamphetamine for this collective group of indi- viduals," Purtzer said. "(Long- shore) was by the front door when the first shot occurs, completely surprised by the conduct (Raphael's) engaging in." Ar the prosecution and defense gave opening state- ments, the prosecution called its first witnesses. Shelton resident Paul Owen, who lives near 213 W. Harvard St., testified to hear- ing gunshots the night of the shooting. Sgt. Harry Heldreth of the Shelton Police Department then recounted the first law- enforcement response to the shooting. Sgt. Mike Fiola, also of the Shelton Police Department, and Squaxin Island police offi- cer Greg Blalock also recount- ed their response to the initial crime scene. Blalock was a re- serve Shelton Police officer at the time. Fiola told the jury about how Longshore returned to the scene of the crime hours later and was questioned and re- leased by detectives. He also testified that Ra- phael did not respond to of- ricers when they obtained a search warrant to enter his house. A SWAT team respond- ed, and Raphael was later ar- rested. Testimony for the prosecu- tion is expected to continue into next week. After the pros- ecution rests, the defense will present its case. If convicted, Longshore faces life in prison. The Mason County Prosecutor's Office an- nounced last year that it did not plan to seek the death pen- city. Longshore is currently serv- ing a five-year prison term for felony eluding. He was free on bail for that charge when he was accused of shooting Drake and Tuber. Meetings: B 00ard J ,llowing state law wi.th closed meetings continued from page A- 1 meeting at the Mason County Commission Chambers on Oct. 13. Davis told the Jour- nal he was frustrated about not being able to receive detailed infor- mation about what the commission discusses in closed sessions. "I decided when I saw one more closed session I was going to enter that session and refuse to leave," Davis said. That closed session, which was described as a labor discussion in the county's briefing agen- da, was rescheduled when Davis refused to leave the room. Davis said he be- lieves the commission made the right decision to postpone the meet- ing. "They had several op- tions," he said. "They could have called the police." mmm The state Open Pub- lic Meetings Act re- quires government or- ganizations, such as the Mason County Board of Commissioners, to meet and do business in pub- lic. However, they are allowed by state law to meet out of the pub- lic's view in specific circumstances outlined in Chapter 42.30 of the NUMBER OF CLOSED MEETINGS BY YEAR: 2011:51 2012:54 2013:57 2014:49 (through Aug.31) Source: IVktson County Bouffl of Commbsioners meeti  Revised Code of Wash- ington (RCW). Exceptions to the Open Public Meetings act include litigation or potential litigation, evaluation of a public employee or person- nel discussions, ale or purchase of real estate, collective bargaining negotiations, and other issues outlined by the law, which is avail- able online through the Washington state Leg- islature. The commission met in executive session nine times in June -- its most closed-door meetings per month so far this year. January was the second-busiest month of 2014 with eight closed-door meet- ings. According to a Jour- nal analysis of county meeting minutes, the number of closed meet- ings held by the county Come to Hunter Farm's 0n 9:00 A.M., 6:00 P.M Every Dayl w.,. ":.,',:r= coCO; n M. $3.00 Admission. Children 2 and under are FREE. @'b'aR', Pumpkinsaresldbythepund (32), or under 7pounds is $2.00 1921 E Hwy 106, Union WA 98592 (360) 898-2222 (360) 426-2222 www.hunter-farms.com has increased each year since 2011, the last year of briefing minutes post- ed on the county's web- site. From January through August in 2013, 2012 and 2011, the com- missioners met behind closed doors 37, 35 and 36 times, respectively, about a dozen fewer sessions than during the same time frame in 2014. The commissioners met behind closed doors 51 times in all of 2011, 54 times in 2012 and 57 times in 2013. Sheldon is the only commissioner to serve all four years sur- veyed. Commissioner Terri Jeffreys was elected in November 2012 and Neatherlin was sworn in in Janu- ary 2013. "I think that the number of sessions that are closed sessions to discuss labor issues have a lot to do with our hard work to get all 11 county unions under contract and to main- tain those contracts in a way which has contin- ued to have good nego- tiations," Jeffreys told the Journal. Mason County em- ployees belong to 11 separate collective bargaining units, or unions. In 2013, the county had a signed contract with one of those unions. This year, all 11 contracts are signed. "I think these (meet- ings) are necessary and they're productive," Sheldon said. "I would think now our need "There is a)ways mere detaff they can give the pub)|c Yeu have ta g)ve us mere than bread crumbs," for closed sessions will probably decrease ... but many of them are coming up for renewal very shortly. It's not anything that's nefari- ous ... there's no con- spiracy." The county also went into arbitration this year over a con- tract with the Mason County Sheriffs Of- fice Employees Guild, which resulted in addi- tional closed meetings, Jeffreys said. mmm Could the County Commission give the public more informa- tion about the content of closed meetings? Members of the Mason County Commission said they already com- ply with requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act. Governmental bodies are required to give the reason for having an ex- ecutive session. The County Com- mission lists the RCW number corresponding to the exception allow- ing the executive ses- sion on its agenda and notes whether the ses- sion pertains to a labor negotiation, real-estate transaction or other ex- NOTICE OF BUDGET HEARING MASON COUNTY PUBLIC HOSPITAL DISTRICT #2 Commissioner's meeting will be held Tuesday, October 28, at 7:00 pm in the conference room at the Harrison Belfair Clinic, located at 21 Romance Hill Rd, in Belfair, Washington. The District's 2015 proposed budget will be discussed and acted upon. The public is encouraged to attend. Tom Davis, Shelton resident eruption. For example, an Aug. 25 executive session listed RCW 42.30.110 (1)(b), which allows the commission to meet pri- vately to "consider the selection of a site or the acquisition of real estate by lease or purchase when public knowledge regarding such consid- eration would cause a likelihood of increased price." Of the county's 49 nonpublic meetings this year, 21 were listed as executive sessions and 28 were listed as closed sessions. Closed sessions sub- tly differ from execu- tive sessions, and are defined under RCW 42.30.140. The Open Public Meetings Act does not apply to proceed- ings including the is- suance or revoking of any license or permit, the meeting of a "qua- si-judicial body in a quasi-judicial matter" between parties that does not have general effect on the public, or collective-bargaining sessions. The County Commis- sion specifically listed as a reason for the ma- jority of its closed ses- sions RCW 42.30.140 (4), which states that the Open Public Meet- ings Act does not apply to "collective bargain- ing sessions with em- ployee organizations, including contract ne- gotiations, grievance meetings and discus- sions related to the in- terpretation or applica- tion of a labor agree- ment." Davis said Tuesday he was particularly con- cerned about the num- ber of closed sessions for labor negotiations. "It shouldn't be a matter of how little you can tell the public, but how much you can tell the public," Davis said Tuesday. "There is always more detail they can give the pub- lic. You have to give us more than bread crumbs." County commission- ers said releasing too much information could damage negotiations, open the county up for a lawsuit or negatively af- fect an employee filing a grievance. Commissioners Jef- freys and Neatherlin said that if the commis- sion announced it was specifically discussing a grievance, rather than only citing the RCW on meeting notices, mem- bers of the public could speculate about who the grievance pertained to. "We have to treat each grievance ... with absolute respect," Neat- herlin said. "We have to be on top of these things and be smart about that or we'd be in lawsuits all the time." ,l Jill, ! ) II m I f ' m, ,, Newman Famu qlyChiropractic Sarah Newman, DC Work Injuries Car Accidents Wellness Care Accepting Medicare and nwst Insurances OPEN 6 DAYS A WEEK .2211 Jefferson street, Shelton WA 98584