Madore enters the inner sanctum

Clark County Commissioner-elect David Madore got his first peek behind the curtain of county government this week as he was welcomed into an executive session on Wednesday.

And yes, the county can legally do that. From the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington:

“Attendance at an executive session need not be limited to the members of the governing body. Persons other than the members of the governing body may attend the executive session at the invitation of that body. [ When the governing body is meeting in executive session to discuss litigation or potential litigation, legal counsel must be present and take part in the discussion. RCW 42.30.110(1)(i).] Those invited should have some relationship to the matter being addressed in the closed session, or they should be attending to otherwise provide assistance to the governing body. For example, staff of the governing body or of the governmental entity may be needed to present information or to take notes or minutes. However, minutes are not required to be taken at an executive session. [ See RCW 42.32.030.]”

Madore has attended every meeting of the commissioners since his election night victory. That includes nearly four hours worth of budget talks held the morning after the results came in.

He told commissioners he’s excited to get going, and at this Wednesday’s board time (after the executive session) he was granted the opportunity to start getting involved.

After asking a few questions about removing county parks fees, a topic Madore included in his campaign platform, Commissioners Tom Mielke and Steve Stuart agreed to schedule a workshop on the matter.

After Mielke joked about starting a discussion on “the bridge,” Madore laughed and said that would take an awful big segue, but then jumped into at least a small part of it. (Not that big of a segue, really.)

He’s asking for a legal opinion from the county on a state law which addresses how a vote of the people is handled in regards to light rail. County Administrator Bill Barron said he would make some calls and get back to the commissioners, and the commissioner-elect, with any results.

Madore has also asked questions on other matters, including the zoning of collective medicinal marijuana gardens, the county’s hiring process and the route of a future transmission line.

Commissioner Marc Boldt, who Madore defeated in the election, is still a sitting commissioner. The official changing of the guard doesn’t take place until January. But Boldt hasn’t been around much since the election.

Boldt’s mother died the morning after the election, prompting him to skip the day’s meetings. This week he has attended the Washington State Association of Counties’ annual conference, as he recently became the president of the executive committee. He will be vacating that role in January as well.

Erik Hidle

Erik Hidle

Erik Hidle covers Clark County government for The Columbian. He can be followed on facebook at, on Twitter at @col_clarkgov or contacted by email at

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