Dumas v. Gagner

In Dumas v. Gagner, 137 Wn.2d 268, 283-84, 971 P.2d 17 (1999), the Court favored a broad construction of the word "resides" under RCW 53.12.010(1) because of the strong public policy in favor of eligibility for public office and the unique facts of that case. Appellant Sue Frost in the Dumas case physically resided in a house located on one of three contiguous lots which she owned and considered as one residential property. The lot on which her house was located was not in the commissioner district she was elected to represent, but the two other lots were in the district she was elected to represent. Although the lots were transected by a political boundary line, appellant relied in good faith, "through no fault of her own," on the county auditor's erroneous assignment of precinct. The Court concluded that, given the limited factual context presented in Dumas, a narrow construction of the word "resides" would not serve the purpose of the residence requirement under RCW 53.12.010(1)(a) in achieving geographic balance on the Port of Kennewick Commission. Id. at 287, 294.