CRC: recipe for micro-management | Guest Column

Pat O
Pat O'Day
— image credit: Contributed photo

By Pat O'Day

Gordy Peterson and Ralph Gutschmidt want you to rip apart five years of Home Rule progress for our county by going back to the dark ages.

Here are the only problems we’ve experienced.

No. 1: Some of the hold-over County Council members stubbornly played by the old rules. No. 2: Prosecutor Randy Gaylord failed to correct the council when it departed from it’s sworn role as only legislators. He should have insisted they leave the business operation of our county to experienced, seasoned, professional administrators.

The Charter Review Commission claims their amendments will give power back to the people. What people? Certainly not the people on San Juan Island, who will lose two of their three representatives.

Peterson’s nose is still bent as the thoughts he offers were previously rejected during the original Home Rule planning that our citizens overwhelmingly approved. The Charter Review Commission may be blind, or just naïve, as they lack the credentials, and government background, qualifying them to tinker with our precious Home Rule advances.

Their CRC plan they ask you to approve gives administrative power back to just three council members. One from San Juan. One from Orcas and one from Lopez, which now gains one-third of the governing from it’s 1/10th of the population.

The three will then again politically meddle and micro-manage the county employees, department heads, and our myriad of ever growing regulations.

By any management standard, that’s a mess.

We citizens beg to be governed by laws and regulations, not the “good ole boy” system. We beg San Juan County citizens to embrace the structure of nearly every town, city, and county in the U.S.

For our county, this is even more critical as our financial dangers are real and popularity-contest winners do not make good financial, nor people managers.

It’s 2012. San Juan County must separate the legislative body from administration. It’s a fundamental of good government and it’s called “Separation of Powers.”

The council does hire our administrator, and now with errors of the past three years behind us, he’ll have the power and tools to operate our great county efficiently, effectively, and economically.

The problem was not with the Home Rule Charter. It simply needed to be properly implemented. Proposition 2 will propel us into a backward spiral of chaos, confusion and anger.

You voted for Home Rule. Now defend it. Reject Proposition 2. Vote No. No. No.

— Editor's note: Pat O’Day is a Hall of Fame broadcaster, Windermere Real estate broker & Seattle Hospital consultant.


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