Since 2015, Clallam County has had a contract with the cities of Sequim and Port Angeles to handle all of their court cases and jail needs each year for a price. A recent House Bill signed by the Governor says that the courts can no longer charge indigent defendants fines and court fees, which could result in a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars to run the county court system. The county now wants to renegotiate the contract with the cities, but has met resistance.
A recent KONP report outlined the position of Port Angeles interim City Manager Nathan West as to why they are resisting, to which Sequim City Manager Charlie Bush says he fundamentally agrees.
We talked with County Administrator Jim Jones recently to give him a chance to make his case. He started out with giving us a little history behind the original agreement:
So we asked Jones for an example of what he thought would be a fair solution with the cities:
We also asked Jones if he thought the cities might be working together from a position of toughness as a bargaining tool: