There are a number of ways you can express your opinion on issues that the board decides in public hearings. These include:
For public hearings, you may submit written comments by the end of the business day two days before the hearing date to ensure the material is part of the public record. Submitting your comments as much in advance of the hearing as possible gives the commissioners the opportunity to review them thoroughly. Written comments is considered as part of the official deliberation process. It also becomes part of the legal record to be referred to if there is an appeal of the decision or if there is a legal challenge. Submit your comments to:
Board of Clark County Commissioners
PO Box 5000
Vancouver, WA 98666-9810
Or send e-mail to email@example.com.
You may provide oral comments during a public hearing. The time for public comments is usually after county staff has given its presentation and after the board has had an opportunity to ask staff questions.
Talking with staff
Items also can be discussed with staff in a less formal setting. If you are interested in participating at this level, you should contact the department that is in charge of coordinating the issue.
Please keep in mind that although it can be useful to discuss issues and share information with staff, it is the commissioners who set policy and make final decisions.
Talking with commissioners
You may contact board members individually prior to a hearing. Please note, however, that the state’s Appearance of Fairness Doctrine, which helps ensure that issues are considered without bias, limits commissioners in discussing land-use appeals or other items that they will consider in their quasi-judicial role. If a commissioner discusses this type of item prior to the public hearing, the commissioner may be disqualified from participating on the issue. The phone number for the Commissioners Office is (360) 397-2232.