Board Meeting Guide

About the Meetings

The public is invited to attend and participate in Washington County Board Meetings, which are most Tuesdays at 9 a.m. in the Board Room at the Washington County Government Center, 14949 62nd St. N., Stillwater. See the county calendar for meeting dates. The Washington County Board Room is disability accessible, and assisted-listening devices are available to the public. All regular Board Meetings are cablecast live and rebroadcast on cable Channel 16 in the Stillwater area.

The Washington County Board of Commissioners board meetings are cablecast on government access cable channels. The current schedule is:

Suburban Community Cable Television (SCCTV) Channel 18
Serving Mahtomedi, Birchwood, Lake Elmo, Dellwood, Grant, Willernie, and Oakdale
County Board meetings: Tuesday 8 a.m.; Thursday at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 9 a.m.
South Washington County Cable, Channel 16
Serving Cottage Grove, Woodbury, St. Paul Park, and Newport
County Board meetings: Monday at 11 p.m.; Thursday at 11 a.m.; Friday at 4 p.m.; Sunday at 7 p.m.
Valley Access, Channel 16
Serving Stillwater and the St. Croix Valley
County Board meetings live while in progress, cablecast Monday at 11 p.m.; Thursday at 11 a.m.; Friday at 4 p.m.; Sunday at 7 p.m.
Lake Area Cable, Channel 10
Serving Forest Lake, Scandia and Marine on St. Croix
County Board meetings:Monday at 6 p.m.

The county webstreams the County Board meetings. They may be seen on the county's website. Meeting summaries and minutes are available online following each meeting.

Meeting Format

During Board meetings, the commissioners develop policy, make decisions, and make or amend laws for governing the county. The agenda of upcoming meetings may be viewed online in advance. The order of events are as follows:
  1. Roll Call of Board Members
  2. Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Comments from the Public - The Board Chair invites residents in the audience to share their concerns about subjects not on the meeting agenda. The Board may ask the county administrator to prepare a response to any questions or concerns raised. Residents who wish to speak need to fill out a comment card before the meeting and give it to a county staff person.
  4. Consent Calendar - The Consent Calendar covers routine administrative subjects. These items are reviewed by the commissioners and the county administrator prior to each meeting. An item may be pulled by a commissioner for discussion at a later time.
  5. Departmental or Program Items -County departments and community organizations report items to the Board, present awards, or ask for Board approval or direction on a county action.
  6. General Administration - The county administrator presents general information about county business to the Board.
  7. Commissioner Reports - Each commissioner reports on his or her recent activities and asks questions of county staff. Any resulting required action is scheduled for a future Board meeting.
  8. Adjournment - Following the meeting, a workshop may be scheduled for the Board, county staff, and others to discuss pending projects and programs and to receive updates.

Public Hearings

Public hearings, which are separate items of business on the agenda, give residents the opportunity to express their opinions and solutions to the Board on county issues. Notice of the public hearings is published in the official county newspaper, the Oakdale-Lake Elmo Review, at least 10 days before the public hearing.

Public Hearing procedures are as follows:
  • County staff introduces the public hearing subject
  • Board Chair opens the hearing to the public
  • Speakers from the public make presentations
  • Board Chair closes public hearing
  • Commissioners discuss the public hearing subject
  • Commissioners take action or schedule a public hearing continuation date; the date and time is or published in the county's legal newspaper, the Oakdale-Lake Elmo Review

Executive Sessions

Executive sessions are meetings that are closed to the public. State law allows such meetings on a limited range of subjects, such as actual or threatened litigation or labor negotiation strategy. A report on any action taken is made at the next regular Board meeting.

Respectful Behavior

Washington County is committed to respectful behavior in the Board Room. No name-calling or abusive language is permitted. Disrespectful behavior may result in being asked to leave the Board Room. Comments from speakers may be curtailed by the Board Chair if the speaker is overly argumentative, redundant, or repetitive.