After serving under the charter form of government for the last 20 months, I have come to fully appreciate the value its separation of legislative and administrative functions provides.
I can attest to the magnitude of the political pressure that is asserted on our council members. More so than ever before, the current council has provided our citizens with new avenues to provide input and to observe their government at work.
This connection to our constituents is extremely valuable as the council makes policy decisions in our role as the county’s legislative body.
On the administrative side of government, we need to ensure our policies and programs are consistently and fairly delivered and enforced and are not subject to the demands of the vocal minority. As the largest employer in the county responsible for the management of a budget in excess of $45 million, consistent leadership is essential to deliver efficient high quality services.
This can be best achieved by the appointment of a quality county administrator whose understands our community’s needs and is held accountable by the council under the current charter. If the voters are unhappy with the degree to which the council members have held the administrator accountable then we must elect new council members, not change the structure.
Let’s not take a step backwards and put the management of the day to day operations in the hands of elected officials who may not have any management experience.
The existing charter system has in place a set of rules of operation regarding the working relationship between the council and the administrator. This document can be improved without gutting the charter model and reverting to the system that voters found to be flawed in 2005.
Please join me in voting to reject Propositions No. 1 and No. 2. For more information on why we, the voters, should vote “No” on Propositions 1 and 2, please go to www.votenocharterreview1and2.com.
Patty Miller / County Council, Orcas Island