How many councilmembers are required to call a special meeting in a code city with a seven-member council?
The problem is that two different statutes authorize a different number of councilmembers to call a special meeting in code cities with a seven-member council. First, RCW 42.30.080, part of the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA), provides as follows:
A special meeting may be called at any time by the presiding officer of the governing body of a public agency or by a majority of the members of the governing body...
In a code city with a seven-member council, this would be four councilmembers.
Then, there's RCW 35A.12.110, which provides that "Special meetings can be called at any time by the mayor or any three members of the council . . . ." (Emphasis added.) That provision is applicable to council-manager code cities through RCW 35A.13.170.
So, in a code city with a seven-member council, these two statutory provisions are in conflict.
The position of MRSC is that the OPMA provision controls, which means at least four councilmembers are required to call a special meeting in a code city. We take this position because RCW 42.30.140 in the OPMA provides in part:
If any provision of this chapter conflicts with the provisions of any other statute, the provisions of this chapter shall control.
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