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Auditor: Hospital flyers OK

How best to keep the Valley community informed about special public meetings? That’s a question Valley residents can help answer.

King County Hospital District No. 4 drew fire from a Valley resident at a recent public hearing on their method of notifying the public about special meetings.

Snoqualmie resident Mike Peterson challenged the hospital board on May 6, arguing that the district’s use of flyers, posted the day before a special meeting on the sale of the current Snoqualmie Valley Hospital to the Snoqualmie Tribe, was improper, and that therefore, sale of the property could not proceed.

However, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Auditor’s Office told the Valley Record last week that the hospital’s notification method — putting up flyers in district post offices, giving residents a day’s warning before special meetings occur — are within state rules.

“They’re probably in compliance with the letter of the law,” said Washington State Auditor’s Office Spokeswoman Mindy Chambers. “The law is designed to provide the broadest possible public notification. Details of the law don’t say what that is.”

The district’s method of putting up flyers at the local post office looks to be OK, legally, according to Chambers.

Ultimately, “What they should do is up to them... and the public,” she said.

Jay Rodne, the hospital district’s legal counsel (and State Rep. for the Valley’s Fifth Legislative District) told the Valley Record that the recent accusations have been proven to be false and misleading.

“I am glad that the State Auditor’s office has confirmed what we have been saying all along: the Hospital District has been fully complying with the Open Public Meetings Act in the way that it notices and conducts its Board of Commissioner meetings,” he stated.

The district will be providing the Valley Record with e-mail notice of upcoming special meetings.

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