(1) Before the start of bridge construction, the board shall appoint or retain:
(a) An executive director, who shall serve at the pleasure of the board, and be in administrative charge of the activities of the commission, and perform such additional duties as directed by the board. Subject to any rules enacted by the commission, the executive director may appoint staff or retain consultants to carry out the purposes and duties of the commission.
(b) Legal counsel, including without limitation bond counsel, who shall furnish or cause to be furnished to the commission such opinions, advice, and counsel as may be required, and represent or oversee the representation of the commission in legal matters or hearings, as directed by the commission.
(2) The commission may employ such engineering, technical, legal, administrative, operating, and other personnel, officers, or agents on a regular, part-time, or consulting basis as in its judgment is necessary or beneficial for the discharge of its duties. The commission may fix and provide for the qualification, appointment, removal, term, tenure, compensation, pension, and retirement rights of its officers and employees. Employees of the commission shall be afforded the labor rights and protections afforded public employees under the laws of the state within which the primary place of business is situated.
(3) All privileges and immunities from liability, laws, and benefits that apply to directors, officers, agents, or employees of a municipal corporation under applicable law shall apply to the directors, officers, agents, and employees of the commission.
(4) The commission may purchase insurance or self-insure to protect and hold personally harmless any of its directors, alternate directors, and the officers, employees, and agents of the commission from any action, claim, or proceeding arising out of their performance, purported performance, or failure of performance, in good faith of duties for, or employment with the commission, and to hold these individuals harmless from any expenses connected with the defense, settlement, or monetary judgments from such actions, claims, or proceedings.
(5) The commission may purchase insurance or self-insure against loss or damage to any of its properties or facilities, damage to persons or property, loss of revenues, or such other coverages as the board may elect to accomplish the purposes of the commission. Insurance coverage shall be in such form and amount as the board may determine, provided that it satisfies any requirements of any agreement arising out of issuance of bonds or other obligations by the commission. The board may enter into intergovernmental agreements with any state, or local government, or combination thereof, to acquire or maintain the insurance.
(6) The commission shall furnish such information with respect to its affairs as may be requested by the state of Washington, bordering state, or any local government. The commission shall prepare an annual report which summarizes the major activities and expenditures of the commission during the year and anticipated for the following year. The commission shall furnish a copy of the annual report, together with any additional information deemed appropriate, to the local governments and other interested parties.
(7) Except as described in subsection (8) of this section, the commission shall prepare and adopt a single-year or biennial budget and make appropriations in accordance with this subsection. The commission shall: (a) Establish a budget committee; (b) publish public notice of each meeting of the budget committee; (c) publish public notice and hold a public hearing on the proposed budget before enacting a budget; (d) adopt the budget as it may be amended or revised by the commission, before the start of the budget period; (e) enact such amendments or supplementary budgets during a budget period as the commission may determine are appropriate; and (f) transmit to local area governments a copy of the final budget and any amended or supplementary budgets approved by the commission. In no case may the adopted budget expenditure allowances exceed total estimated revenues unless accompanied by proposed legislation to obtain an equivalent amount of additional revenue. The commission may adopt, and from time to time, amend a rule that further details the preparation of the budget and the process for its adoption.
(8) A commission is not required to enact a budget for any years in which the commission has no revenue and all revenues and expenditures for the bridge are authorized in a budget of one or more local governments.