WACOG honors Olympia planning commissioner

A member of the Olympia Planning Commission was recognized for taking a stance on open public meetings, but not everyone applauded.

Judy Bardin received a Key Award from the Washington Coalition for Open Government, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that defends open-government laws. She was honored for blowing the whistle on a series of private meetings between other commissioners and developers. But the award drew stinging comments from her fellow commissioners, who defended the meetings as legal and said they felt maligned by her “false accusations.”

In March, Bardin objected to two off-the-record meetings that had taken place this year between developers and planning commission members. Bardin said the private meetings had compromised the commission’s integrity because one participant, developer Jim Morris, had an interest in a proposed zoning amendment. Bardin urged commissioners to table the amendment, which would have expanded the maximum size of commercial buildings near Kaiser Road and Harrison Avenue. Continue>>>