Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1963 NO. 9 > Jan 31 1963

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.

AGO 1998 NO. 10 > Aug 11 1998

When a code city has conducted an election on the question of abandonment of plan of government pursuant to chapter 35A.06 RCW, and the result of the election was to retain the city's current plan of government, there is no statutory “waiting period” before another election on the same question may be conducted.

AGLO 1975 NO. 10 > Feb 3 1975

Although a city which has established a department of a district justice court under chapter 3.46 RCW is required by RCW 3.46.090 to pay all or a portion of the district judge's salary, such city is not required to pay any portion of the county's terminal leave benefits to the judge upon his retirement.

AGO 1984 NO. 11 > Mar 27 1984

(1) The State Corrections Standards Board is not required by chapter 120, Laws of 1983, the Minority and Women's Business Enterprises Act, to fix goals which would, in turn, necessitate that specified portions of the funds which are awarded by it to local governments be set aside for minority or women-owned businesses.(2) Chapter 120, Laws of 1983, the Minority and Women's Business Enterprises Act, applies only to public works projects undertaken by the State (or an agency thereof) itself and, therefore, does not impose any additional duties or responsibilities on local jurisdictions with respect to jail construction and renovation funded through the State Corrections Standards Board.

AGO 1994 NO. 12 > Sep 2 1994

1.  If, through annexation or incorporation, a city acquires more than 60 percent, but less than 100 percent, of the assessed valuation of the real property of a fire protection district, all of the district's assets and a proportionate share of the district's liabilities, pension fund assets and liabilities excepted, are transferred to the city.  2.  If, through annexation or incorporation, a city acquires more than 60 percent, but less than 100 percent, of the assessed valuation of the real property of a fire protection district which has existing liabilities for pension obligations established pursuant to chapter 41.16 or 41.18 RCW, and has funds dedicated for the payment of such obligations, both the liabilities and the assets are retained by the fire protection district.

AGO 1996 NO. 19 > Dec 11 1996

1.  The procedure established in RCW 90.03.383(3) for modifying a water right permit based on an intertie between public water supply systems applies only to interties existing and in use on January 1, 1991. 2.  Under RCW 90.03.383(3), when the Department of Ecology processes a change in place of use occasioned by an intertie between public water supply systems, the resulting permit(s) should show the quantity of water delivered through the intertie as well as the change in place of use. 3.  Under RCW 90.03.383(4), the Department of Ecology's scope of inquiry is whether each system's use is within the annual and instantaneous withdrawal rate specified in its water right authorization and whether the exchange or delivery through the intertie adversely affects existing water rights.  

AGO 1989 NO. 20 > Oct 27 1989

Because of RCW 41.08.040 and RCW 41.12.040, the secretary/chief examiner of a civil service commission created under chapter 41.08 or chapter 41.12 RCW must be either an existing employee of the city or a city resident; these provisions were left undisturbed when the current versions of RCW 41.08.075 and 41.12.075 were enacted.

AGO 1994 NO. 20 > Nov 17 1994

1.  A board of freeholders elected pursuant to article 11, section 16 of the Washington Constitution to draft and present a proposed city-county charter may not instead draft a charter relating to the county only.  2.  The state constitution requires that a city-county charter specifically provide for the legal status of cities within the new government's territory, and grants broad discretion to the voters in defining which, if any, of the powers and duties of existing cities would continue or change after adoption of a city-county charter.  3.  Cities remaining in existence in a city-county operating under a city-county charter retain authority to annex territory, only if and only to the extent that the charter grants such authority.  4.  All of the voters of a county may vote on the adoption of a proposed city-county charter, including those residing within any incorporated cities in the county.  5.  A board of freeholders lacks authority to use public funds or property to advocate or promote adoption of a city-county charter after it has been drafted and submitted pursuant to the constitution; however, the acts of soliciting and recording public opinion, drafting, debating, deliberating, selecting options, and submitting a charter to the county are all specifically implied by the freeholders' constitutional role and do not constitute an unlawful use of public property.

AGO 1988 NO. 26 > Nov 1 1988

1.When RCW 39.59.020(4) authorizes municipal treasurers to invest in " . . . any investments authorized by law for the treasurer of the state of Washington ..." and the state treasurer is authorized by law to invest in commercial paper by RCW 43.84.080(7) but only to the extent consistent with the policy of the State Investment Board, the legal limitations on the state and on municipal treasurers are confined to formally adopted policies of the State Investment Board, and neither the state nor municipal treasurers are bound by State Investment Board policies which are informal or unwritten.2.A municipal treasurer may not lawfully delegate authority to redeem warrants to a banking institution or other party outside the treasurer's office.3.A municipal treasurer may lawfully secure a line of credit for warrant redemption with a bank, to the extent permitted by RCW municipal treasurer may in certain circumstances secure a letter of credit from a bank for warrant redemption purposes, but only to guarantee payment of warrants the treasurer is statutorily authorized to pay.5.A letter or line of credit is a contingent liability and does not constitute a borrowing by a municipal corporation for purposes of applying constitutional or statutory debt or borrowing limitations; the borrowing occurs if the letter of line of credit is actually drawn down.

AGLO 1976 NO. 50 > Aug 6 1976

Applicability of state environmental policy act to annexation by cities, towns and special districts.