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Reject Props 1 and 2, support Jarman and Forlenza | Guest Column
By Janice Peterson/San Juan island
To the voters still mulling it over:
The die is nearly cast. Please consider the following points:
— Proposition 1 says the island with half the population gets one council vote and the other half of the population (Orcas and Lopez) get two council votes. San Juan Island, with half the population, will be outnumbered 2 to 1.
— The idea of “everybody voting for everybody” is often repeated but in practice, does not look like a good bet. In the pre-charter past, the perception according to many was that each of the commissioners “owned” his/her island’s loyalty. We sincerely, genuinely wanted to get rid of the 3-member, unequal district model when we adopted the charter in 2005. 55 percent voted it out.
— Unequal representation is unfair. One person one vote is a sacred principle. This is a non-partisan election. Lovel Pratt and Howie Rosenfeld not only accepted endorsements from the Democrats, they actively pursued them. Democratic staffers at the County Fair could not present a reason for the endorsements beyond, “they asked for it.” There is significant dissension within the Republican party about the endorsement for the CRC propositions.
— Don’t bring back the old BOCC. Keep your representation. Vote for the candidates who are standing on their own two feet, Marc Forlenza and Bob Jarman. We have an opportunity to change the entire dynamic of the Council with our votes on November 6th.
— Do you think it’s fair to elect candidates who have spent time, money, and incalculable effort to earn the vote of the majority and then throw them out of office five months later? What about the rights of the voters disenfranchised?
— The CRC has misrepresented financial issues in an attempt to convince voters that it will be cheaper to go back to the old 3-person scheme. They have nothing to support this. The auditor says costs are about the same with three or six.
— The CRC has not demonstrated problems in the Charter structure and they have not shown that anything will be improved if Proposition 1 and 2 are adopted.
— The CRC submitted its propositions to the County Council on July 10, more than two months after a slate of candidates filed papers to run, not knowing what could be in store for them. The rules changed in the middle of the game. Does this sound fair to you? Legal?
I am a member of the CRC. I saw the deliberations. The process was insufficient to support the amendments. It doesn’t deserve your vote. The county doesn’t need a resurrection of a failed system. Reject Props. 1 and 2 . Vote for Forlenza and Jarman.
— Editor's note: Janice Peterson, a member of the Charter Review Commission, is among the three CRC members opposing the amendments put forth to the voters in the Nov. 6 election.