Next Thursday, January 29, 2015, Washington State Parks Commissioners will be asked to vote on a motion to delegate their authority to parks staff for review and approval of leases of 20 years or less.
This is found on the agenda as “Item E-2: Real Estate Management Policy – Requested Action.” Right now proposals for leases of land and buildings in individual state parks must receive a unanimous vote by the Parks Commission for a lease to be approved for more than 20 years; and a majority vote, i.e. 4 out of 7, for proposed leases of 20 years or less.
The exact language is buried in the agenda on page 25, sentence four of the very last paragraph, under “Staff Recommendations” in a section called “Recreation Business Activities” that potentially applies to any area of a park classified as “Recreation, Resource Recreation or Heritage” according to the Classification and Management Plan (CAMP). This would encompasses the plateau area and buildings at Saint Edward. This is cross-referenced without being explicitly called out on page 32 under “Requested Action From the Commission”, item 1, at the top of the page.
Decisions at the Parks staff level are not subject to the same public notice requirements and scrutiny as ones heard and voted on at public Commission meetings thus removing much needed oversight in management of State Parks.