The county is adding audio from the morning Grays Harbor Commission meetings to its online database of material available to the public.
The commission meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month, at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. The morning session is less formal and usually not as well attended as the afternoon meeting.
“Our goal is to end up with as much public access as we can provide online,” Commissioner Vickie Raines said.
Documents, including agendas and meeting packets, already are available online at tinyurl.com/GHC-Documents.
Raines acknowledged there is an expense associated with placing the information online, but stated it’s ultimately cheaper than handling public records requests that frequently come in for the same information.
“Public records requests take a lot of time to take care of,” Commissioner Randy Ross added.
Documents and information related to county public meetings is available by searching for topics or dates on the website. Users of the online county records site have the option to search for one or more of the following meeting types: Board of Adjustment, Board of Equalization, commissioners meetings, commissioners workshops and Planning Commission.
At least one county employee has noticed a decrease in document requests, if not a calculable savings.
“As for savings there is no real way to calculate how many people are using the online system to get their own records rather than putting in requests,” County Clerk of the Board Jenna Amsbury said. “I can tell you that I have received fewer requests for meeting minutes and audio in the past couple of years. We hope that with this method we will be able to direct more citizens to the website when they are wanting to do their own research.”
Audio and video files of meetings will be found online at tinyurl.com/GHC-Recordings. But the county has had trouble getting all the information they want available to the public.
“Our morning meeting and special meeting audio will be there as soon as our vendor gets the website working again,” Amsbury said. Once the vendor gets all the bugs out, the information will be available Board of County Commissioners website (tinyurl.com/GHC-Commissioners) under the heading “Commissioner Documents Search.”