Council adds three more posts to charter review commission

Turns out 18 wasn't enough after all.

The San Juan County Council Tuesday boosted the number of elected position of the inaugural Charter Review Commission from 18 to 21.

That decision came with just three days left before the end of this election season's candidate filing period. Swayed by a presentation by Auditor Milene Henley, chief of the county Elections division, the council opted to add three more positions to the roster of the first-ever charter review commission so that it would better reflect the distribution of the county's population by island.

The council previously agreed to set the number of charter review commissioners at 18.

According to Henley, with 18 members, the number of representatives allocated to the commission tilted in favor of Orcas because the population within each of that island's two legislative districts, Orcas West in particular, outweighs the four other county legislative districts, three of which are on San Juan, home to the county's largest population.

Henley noted that allocating 18 commissioners by district population meant that San Juan would have a total of eight representatives on the commission, while Orcas would have seven, and Lopez/Shaw would elect three. With 21, San Juan will have 10, Orcas will have seven and Lopez/Shaw will elect four. The legislative districts known as, San Juan North, Friday Harbor, and Lopez/Shaw, each will gain a charter review commissioner as a result of the increase.

As of Tuesday, Henley said, the county Elections office had received paperwork from a total nine people who are seeking election to the charter review commission. She noted, however, that the council has authority to initiate a "special candidate filing period" if additional time is needed to fill the commission's ranks.

For info about the charter review commission, candidate filing, or positions up for election, see the county Elections division website at



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