SOUTH BEND—A glut of public disclosure requests prompted the Pacific County Commissioners to authorize measures to address the issue during their regular meeting on Oct. 22.

The board approved a stipend for confidential secretary Natasha Nesbitt.

“When Natasha was hired as confidential secretary, assistant clerk of the board, she was hired back in December,” said County Administrative Officer Kathy Spoor. “About that time was when we had the big influx in public disclosure requests. Ninety-five percent of her time now is spent on that. … This is outside her original job description, and so we’re proposing a $150 a month stipend.”

The stipend will be reviewed on a quarterly basis, Spoor said. If the number of public disclosure requests decreases and Nesbitt’s daily duties return to the job she was hired to do, the stipend will be discontinued.

If the number of disclosure requests continues to remain high, the board may need to consider hiring a full-time person for that purpose, Spoor said.

The board approved the stipend by a 3-0 vote.

The commissioners also approved advertising a temporary full-time position for an administrative position.

“We have a number of (public disclosure requests) that have overloaded the person that’s actually in the position,” said commission Chairwoman Lisa Ayers (Dist. 3). “She hasn’t been able to do this type of work since she’s been hired. We also have some medical issues with family members of staff.”

She said it appeared funding the position would not require a supplemental budget request.

The county is required by law to respond to requests for public records.

Revised Code of Washington section 42.56.070 states: Documents and indexes to be made public. (1) Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall make available for public inspection and copying all public records, unless the record falls within the specific exemptions of *subsection (6) of this section, this chapter, or other statute which exempts or prohibits disclosure of specific information or records. To the extent required to prevent an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy interests protected by this chapter, an agency shall delete identifying details in a manner consistent with this chapter when it makes available or publishes any public record; however, in each case, the justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in writing.

Resignations

In other departments, the commissioners acknowledged the resignation of part-timer Jessica Star from the Auditor’s Long Beach office.

Ayers explained that the normal procedure would be for the Auditor’s Office to advertise for the position, then return with a request to hire.

Because the general election is only weeks away, the board authorized Auditor Pat Gardner to advertise the position and hire right away to save time. The Auditor’s Office is charged with counting the ballots and certifying the election.

The board also accepted the resignation of juvenile probation officer Juliann Charaska. Her resignation is effective as of Dec. 31, 2013.

“I just have to say 24 years is a long time, and we appreciate the work she has done for us,” Ayers said.

Years of Service

The board presented certificates for years of service to Craig Hawkinson and Tom Gradt at the Department of Public Works and Mary Goelz at Public Health for 25 years; Leah Heintz and Wendy Hamlin at Public Health and Connie Williams at the Assessor’s Office for 20 years; and dispatcher Bobbie-Jo Stepro-Bighill at the Sheriff’s Office for five years.

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