Man to get $13K from city of Yakima in public meetings lawsuit

Man to get $13K from city of Yakima in public meetings lawsuit

YAKIMA, Wash. - The city of Yakima has a agreed to pay $13,000 to settle a lawsuit stating the city did not provide notice to the public of a meeting.

According to a city news release, the complaint filed earlier this year contended the city violated the state Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) because it did not provide proper public notice of a Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce luncheon held in May.

Leaders said the city will pay Arthur West $13,000 under this agreement.

Under OPMA, a meeting is defined by one at which action is taken. During this luncheon, city leaders said four Yakima City Council members spoke.

West stated that because city council members who spoke at the luncheon "took action" according to OPMA, and more than three council members attended, the meeting should have been noticed in the same way other council meetings are noticed.

West also claimed the discussion at the luncheon with an audience violated OPMA as meetings are supposed to be open to anyone.

"In agreeing to settle, the city is not saying the allegations in the complaint are necessarily supported by state law," said City Manager Cliff Moore.

Moore says the settlement is the city's response to the gray area of this law.

He says the city of Yakima has also agreed to provide all notice necessary for future State of the City luncheons. More information on the settlement can be found here.

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