Pratt cites her experience as one of the key reasons to support her election. Her website says:
San Juan County needs leaders with experience, good judgment and expertise; leaders who are dedicated, accessible, and responsive; leaders who will make decisions in the best interests of our entire community.
This is what Lovel Pratt will bring to the new County Council.But the OPMA lawsuit suggests she can't remember key portions of her experience. She doesn't seem all that responsive either. Was she making decisions in the best interest of our entire community? Irrespective of her campaign statements, she probably can't recall.
Have a look at the press release, which is presented in its entirety.
County Council Rejects Settlement Offer
Citizens Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR), recently submitted an offer to settle the lawsuit with San Juan County alleging violations of the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA). The County Council rejected the offer.
The CAPR case is about open and transparent government. This is a priority to more than 85% of the people who voted in the November election. Our Prosecutor states, “The policy reasons for open government are very strong.” CAPR agrees wholeheartedly with Mr. Gaylord here.
However, the actions of San Juan County in this matter seem to be contrary to the words of the Prosecutor and the policies of the Council. Section 2.4 of the Council Rules of Procedure requires that, “all meetings of the Council shall be open to the public.” This rule was not followed in this case where secret meetings of 3 council persons and staff occurred more than 20 times before coming to light and being stopped.
In fact, the County has taken steps to further conceal and block attempts to gather information. This is not a commitment to open government. On 2/20/13 the County filed a protective order in an attempt to block the deposition of Deputy Prosecutor Jon Cain. The County has further attempted to limit our discovery. In depositions of Council and staff members the terms “I don’t recall,” “I don’t remember,” “I don’t know,” were used more than 250 times. What is the County trying to hide?
In the deposition of former subcommittee member Lovel Pratt, which lasted less than 4 hours, she stated that she didn’t know or couldn’t recall answers to simple questions more than 74 times. When presented with her own notes taken at the meetings she did not recall what the notes referred to:
“Q. Do you recall in the February 3rd, 2012, meeting anyone from staff asking what were the views of the Council members as to wetland buffers, stormwater, site specific and variable buffers and/or medium risk approaches? Do you recall staff requesting any guidance from the County Council members in attendance on any of those topics?
Pratt. I don't recall.
Q. So you don't -- why were they discussed? Do you have any idea?
Pratt. I don't recall.
Q. Ma'am, this meeting is only less than a year old, and you just don't recall?
Pratt. I just -- I don't recall the specifics of this particular meeting. I'm sorry.
Q. There's no need to apologize. You just don't recall?
Pratt. I don't.
Q. And these notes don't refresh your memory?
If you believe that open and transparent government should be a priority of San Juan County and if you believe that all meetings of the Council should be open and transparent, then we need your support. Send any donations to CAPR San Juan P.O. Box 1866 Friday Harbor WA 98250.