Posted by: Patricia Salkin | January 15, 2017

WA Attorney General Opines that Simultaneously Serving as School Board Member and City Planning Commission Member May Be Incompatible

In response to a hypothetical inquiry to the Attorney General in which a person simultaneously serves as an elected member of a school district board of directors and also as a member of the local city planning commission, the Attorney General opined that the two positions were probably incompatible offices because “a person holding both offices could face inconsistent loyalties to the public in different capacities.” For example, if the individual as a school director makes decisions regarding the use of school district property, that same individual in the role of planning commissioner may be forced to review those very same decisions, leading to “dueling loyalties to the constituents of each office.” However, the Attorney General noted that a court may come to a different conclusion, depending on the facts of an actual case. He also cautioned that an individual who is serving both as a school director and a planning commissioner who “may be required to recuse from deciding a quasi-judicial matter [as the planning commissioner] when the school district is a party.”

Wash. Att’y Gen. Op. 2016 NO. 7 (2016),


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