Open Government Training

2020 Special Training

Effective Meetings for Focus & Productivity

Elected officials and volunteer appointees devote countless hours in public meetings to represent the interests of the public and provide essential support to county programs and activities. In appreciation of this service and to gain value for the time invested, we are inviting Ann Macfarlane of Jurassic Parliament back to Whatcom County. Ann works for civic leaders, nonprofit boards of directors, and school boards across the nation. In our region, she recently trained the Association of Washington Cities and the Skagit County Planning Commission.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

5:30 - 8:30 PM

- OR -

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

9:00 AM - Noon

Civic Center – Garden Level Conference Room – 322 N. Commercial

To register, call Human Resources (360) 778-5300


Legislation enacted by the State, July 2014, requires Open Government Training for all members of governing bodies (county council, planning commission, civil service commission, charter review commission, etc.) and for members of volunteer boards and committees who act on behalf of and/or take public comment for a governing body.

The goals of the law are to improve trust in government and help reduce liability through education about the principles of open government. The law requires training no later than 90 days after the oath of office or assumption of duties. There is also “refresher” training required at intervals of no more than four years to cover any updates on the laws. Whatcom County's goal is to have 100% of the members of groups subject to Open Public Meetings receive this training.  Staff members assigned to support the groups submit documentation to Human Resources for centralized tracking. 

The Whatcom County Council and the County Executive appoint dozens of volunteers to boards, commissions, and committees which serve our community and address many important issues. Each group and its members can pick the training option to best meet their needs. The time commitment is modest and the training is free through the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.

On-Line Training

PowerPoint Presentation

Open Public Meeting Act Training

Individual Options

Members view VIDEO or POWERPOINT on their own, complete and sign individual Training Certificate. Staff member collects certificates; submits to Human Resources. Electronic copies are fine.

Group Options

Group schedules 20 minutes at a meeting to view VIDEO (link above).  Staff member completes Training Roster with signatures; submits to Human Resources. Electronic copies are fine.

Group schedules 10-20 minutes at a meeting to view POWERPOINT (link above). Staff members completes Training Roster with signatures; submits to Human Resources. Electronic copies are fine.