Parks district will interview candidates in public session now

South Whidbey parks officials will now hold interviews with candidates for a soon-to-be-vacant seat on the parks board in public when they meet Wednesday.

The district had earlier planned to conduct the interviews in a private, closed-door executive session. When notified Tuesday by the Record that excluding the public from the meeting would violate the state Open Meetings Act, and that the newspaper was requesting the interviews be conducted in public, the parks district reversed course and published a revised agenda.

Parks Director Terri Arnold, in an email to the newspaper, called it "a mistake on my part" and stressed the interviews would be held in a public session.

Mark Helpenstell and Dave Parent have applied to fill the vacancy that will occur with the upcoming departure of Parks Commissioner Linda Kast.

Arnold said the interviews will be held from 6 to 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31. The board will meet at the district headquarters on Maxwelton Road.

The parks board will then go into a closed-door session to talk about the candidates, then call the regular board meeting to order at 7 p.m.

Public comment will be taken on the candidates before the board will vote to choose a replacement.

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