You can express your opinion on issues before the board in a number of ways. They include:
For public hearings, 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 councilors the opportunity to review them thoroughly. Written comments are considered part of the official deliberation process. They also become part of the legal record if there is an appeal of the decision or a legal challenge. Submit your comments to:
Board of County Councilors
PO Box 5000
Vancouver, WA 98666-9810
Or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may provide oral comments during a public hearing. Public comment time is usually after county staff has given its presentation and 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, contact the department 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 councilors who set policy and make final decisions.
Talking with councilors
You may contact board members individually prior to a hearing. Please note, however, that the state’s Appearance of Fairness Doctrine, which helps ensure issues are considered without bias, limits councilors in discussing land-use appeals or other items they will consider in their quasi-judicial role. If a councilor discusses this type of item prior to the public hearing, he or she may be disqualified from participating on the issue. The councilors' office can be reacahed at (360) 397-2232.