New comment process arrives in time for fireworks

Verbal public comments have returned to Clark County Council meetings, just in time for some fireworks.

Since meetings went virtual due to COVID-19, the council had been accepting written comments, which were mostly read aloud by staffers. But, while still holding meetings virtually, the council began accepting verbal comments directly from the public on Tuesday. 

Just two people participated, but that might change at the council’s next meeting Feb. 2. The council will hold a public hearing in which it is likely to reverse a controversial new fireworks ordinance that limited the types of fireworks that can be sold and used in the county.

Ahead of the 3-2 council approval, about 63 percent of the 230 written comments opposed the ordinance. Councilor Gary Medvigy and Chair Eileen Quiring O’Brien cited the lack of a public comment process as a reason for voting against it.

The time length of public comment sessions at in-person meetings ranged from brief to more than an hour. The Feb. 2 hearing will present a significant test of the new process if the interest in the fireworks ordinance holds. 

For more information on how to offer comments at a meeting, click here: How to Participate in Public Comment.pdf (wa.gov)

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