Journal of the San Juan Islands


CRC gives more power to people | Letters

October 4, 2012 · Updated 9:39 AM

The Charter Review Commission was elected to evaluate our Home Rule Charter to determine if it meets the needs of San Juan County.

The CRC spent five months doing that. We worked  hard and volunteered many hours of time because we had a common desire to improve our local government. We represented widely differing political outlooks and a diversity of occupations.

In spite of our differences, we all put San Juan County first. Getting together to do this job wasn’t our idea. The law required this review.

You elected us to do it. You will decide to accept or reject the changes we have suggested.

First and foremost was our goal of fulfilling the charter’s stated intention to enable citizens “to assert greater control over the actions of county government.” We asked ourselves several basic questions:

Can the council be made more accountable to the citizens as a whole? Would the council be more efficient with three instead of six members? Would you prefer to vote for all members of the council instead of one out of six?

Should the un-elected administrator be more directly accountable to the people? Would you prefer all meetings among council members be open to the public? Should voters have more control over local government?

Seventeen of your elected commission members answered “Yes” to all of these questions. Their names are listed below.

The CRC is proposing three simple amendments to the home rule charter. Take time to study the details and we think you will agree.

The following individuals represent a large majority of your charter review commissioners. Please join us in voting for all three amendments in November’s election. Thank you.

Bill Appel, Mary Jean Cahail, Bob Gamble, Steve Garrison, Ralph Gutschmidt, Larry Hendel, Moana Kutsche, Bob Levinson, Madrona Murphy, Gordy Petersen, Maureen See, Tom Starr, Jim Stegall, Barbra Thomas, Richard Ward, Bill Watson, Ron Zee

— Editor’s note: this letter was submitted for publication by Bill Appel of Waldron Island on behalf of the names listed above.


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