All meetings of the Port Commission and its standing committees are open to the public, subject to the provisions of Chapter 42.30 RCW. Meetings are conducted in a manner that provides the public the opportunity to hear and observe the proceedings. Access to meeting rooms is subject to safety considerations and the ability to conduct the meeting in an orderly manner.
Public comment is accepted shortly after the start of the public session. The specific order in which individuals are heard is at the commission’s discretion. If you wish to speak, please sign in and identify the agenda item or topic you wish to address. When recognized by the presiding officer, speakers should come to the testimony table and use the microphones provided. For everyone’s safety, please do not approach the commission dais directly.
If you have printed materials to share with commissioners, one of the clerks will be happy to distribute them for you. Remember to repeat your name for the record, to identify the agenda item on which you are commenting, and to address your comments to the commission as a group. Normally, commissioners do not respond to questions or engage in dialog during public comment, but on rare occasions they may ask for clarification or direct requests to port staff. The overall length of the comment period is limited to 45 minutes, and members of the public typically are given two minutes to speak. However, the amount of time provided to individuals is subject to change.
It is important to respect the order and decorum of public meetings by staying on topic and avoiding personalities, vulgarity, insults, and inflammatory language. The following disruptions during a public meeting are prohibited:
- Refusing to comply with the allotted time for individual comment;
- Outbursts from the audience;
- Delaying the comment period or interfering with the comments of others;
- Directing remarks to the audience;
- Holding or placing a banner or sign in the meeting room in a way that endangers others or obstructs the free low of persons attending the meeting;
- Leaving the podium or testimony table to physically approach commissioners or staff during public comment (although you are always welcome to ask a clerk for assistance or provide printed materials to the clerk); and
- Any behavior that disrupts, disturbs or impedes attendance at a public meeting.
Public hearings are special opportunities to speak on specific port actions, usually required by state law. Public hearing testimony is accepted at the time of the hearing in its regular agenda order.
Your Comment is a Public Record
Recorded comment and the identity of speakers are public records subject to disclosure under Chapter 42.56 RCW, and the names of speakers are recorded in the meeting minutes.
Comments in Written Form
Written comments on any topic may be submitted to a commission clerk at any time during the meeting for distribution to commissioners and inclusion in the meeting record.
The Commission may recess to an executive session to discuss or receive briefings from staff regarding sale or lease of real estate, personnel matters, litigation or other subjects as set forth in the Open Public Meetings Act (RCW 42.30).
In the event an executive session is to be held, the regular meeting shall convene at 11:00 a.m. and shall immediately recess to an executive session, which is closed to the public. The open public meeting then shall reconvene at 12:00 noon. An executive session also may be called at any time after 12:00 noon, if necessary.
Industrial Development Corporation
The Port Commissioners also sit as the Board of Directors of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of the Port of Seattle. By authorization of the Washington State Legislature, the IDC can issue tax-exempt revenue bonds to finance industrial development within the corporate boundaries of the port. The meetings of the IDC are open and public.
For further information about Commission meetings, call (206) 787-3210.