Association of Counties to meet in Kitsap

WSAC officials will develop strategies for next year’s Legislature.

The Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) will begin its joint district meeting in Bremerton today, hosting commissioners and engineers from throughout the state.

WSAC, which is itself a nonprofit organization, collects dues from each member county and then lobbies the state legislature about issues of importance to local government.

This week’s session will help to develop that strategy.

“This conference provides time for our eastern and western districts to share their priorities,” said WSAC spokesperson Michelle Zahrly. “The elected officials get together twice a year to talk about issues that are important to them individually and together. There are a number of committee meetings where we will determine what we need to accomplish during the next legislature.”

The conference begins this afternoon with a finance meeting and continues through Friday. Zahrly expects about 105 attendees, commissioners and county engineers, to attend the event.

All meetings are open to the public, although food costs may apply.

The keynote address will take place at noon on June 19, when Secretary of State Sam Reed will discuss the implications of the newly implemented top-two primary system.

Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown is scheduled to address the conference about a state policy that requires counties to pay for the prosecution and defense of uncontested misdemeanors.

“If they are making this requirement they ought to be able to pay some of the costs,” Brown said.

Kitsap County last hosted WSAC more than ten years ago in Silverdale.

South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel is looking forward to the meeting, one of her last WSAC events as commissioner.

“It will be a pleasure to bring commissioners from throughout the state in to see our conference center and our golf courses,” she said.“They will see local sights and stay in local hotels. Hopefully, they will go home and tell their friends, who will then come visit.”

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