Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 2012 NO. 1 >

An ordinance of a first class city that prohibits food establishments from treating people differently based upon the use of additional types of service animals is not preempted by a state law prohibiting different treatment based only on the use of trained guide dogs and miniature horses.

AGO 1953 NO. 2 >

Municipal corporations do not have the power to impose a business tax upon taverns and "H" licensed premises.

AGO 2006 NO. 2 >

1.  When a local jurisdiction designates critical areas under the Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A), it is not obligated to include, as designated critical areas, shorelines of statewide significance or other shorelines within the jurisdiction; however, the jurisdiction should designate those shorelines within the area, or portions of them, and meet the statutory criteria for designation (RCW 36.70A.030(5)).  2.     If a local jurisdiction determines that some of the shorelines within its area should be designated as critical areas under the Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A), that determination is subject to administrative and judicial review as provided in statute.

AGO 1983 NO. 2 >

The construction, alteration, repair or improvement (other than ordinary maintenance) of low income housing facilities by a public housing authority established pursuant to chapter 35.82 RCW constitutes a public work which is subject to the provisions of the state prevailing wage law (chapter 39.12 RCW) where it is paid for with state or municipal funds or where, in any event, it gives rise to a lien or charge, on the part of the contractor or others involved, against the property of the housing authority.

AGO 1963 NO. 2 >

A city of the third class does not have the statutory authority to purchase a pension program for its employees from a private life insurance company.

AGO 2011 NO. 2 >

Cities, counties, and special districts cannot contract directly with another agency for architectural and engineering services without first complying with the procurement procedures set forth in RCW 39.80, except where the legislature has granted specific statutory authority to do so.

AGO 2002 NO. 2 >

While associations comprised of counties or local public officers are not “agencies” as defined in RCW 42.17.020, they could in certain circumstances be found to be “functional equivalents” of agencies for purposes of applying particular portions of the Public Disclosure Act; this would be greatly dependent on the facts of a particular case.

AGO 1997 NO. 3 >

RCW 35A.12.030 establishes the qualifications for city council member as (1) being a registered voter of the city at the time of filing a declaration for candidacy and (2) being a resident of the city for at least one year before the election; a person who meets these qualifications need not have been a city resident for one year before filing (interpreting RCW 29.15.025 in light of RCW 35A.12.030).

AGO 1995 NO. 4 >

1.  RCW 3.50.055, enacted in 1993 but effective January 1, 1995, requires certain municipal court judgeships to be filled by election as vacancies occur after January 1, 1995:  that is, any new positions created or vacancies occurring in existing positions (if they are covered by RCW 3.50.055) must be filled by election for the remainder of the current term, while duly appointed judges serving terms scheduled to end on January 1, 1998 may complete their current terms, but their successors will be chosen by election.  2.  RCW 3.50.055 was not intended to change the term for which municipal court judges serve; pursuant to RCW 3.50.040 and 3.50.050, all municipal court judges serve four-year terms beginning on January 1, 1986, and every four years thereafter.

AGO 1963 NO. 9 >

Where the offices of the city clerk and city attorney in a third class city have been made appointive by the city council, under the authority of RCW 35.24.020, the salary of the office holder may be increased or decreased after appointment.