In response: writer misses the mark in bashing CRC | Letters
August 19, 2012 · Updated 10:35 AM
Response to Susan Meister's "Wither Home Rule"
Ms. Meister suggests that if I do not like the job my representatives have done for the last five years, I may elect new ones ("Wither home rule?", guest column, Aug. 16).
I wish that were true. As a registered voter of San Juan County, the power of my vote is limited to one of the six council members who are supposed to represent me. It just isn't the case that I have representatives (plural) who I can vote in or out of office.
Ms. Meister does not appear to have noticed that the "separation of powers" combined with an unelected county administrator has effectively left us with a CEO who is unaccountable to either the legislators or the electorate. She also failed to note that the CRC's recommendations have incorporated language designed to prevent certain abuses that occurred in the years prior to the adoption of Home Rule.
Ms. Meister made no mention of the way in which a six-person council opened the door for the county's business to be conducted without transparency and behind closed doors. When that door was opened, some of the council members walked right through it and never looked back.
I favor the advantages of Home Rule. The CRC's three propositions do not "eviscerate the heart" of the charter. The "heart" of the charter is stated in its preamble, and calls for greater citizen control over county government.
Over the past five years, we have had less, not more control, which is why these revisions have been recommended.
I take particular exception to Ms. Meister's suggestion that those who support these changes will do so because they have been "deceived." Voters need to be informed, and since there was very little real information in Ms. Meister's strong "opinion" piece, I found the article itself to be deceptive, more so in fact than anything else I have read on the subject.
I hope that people will take the time to fully understand Propositions 1, 2, and 3. If interested, they may attend one of the many meetings being offered, and take the opportunity to ask questions and express concerns directly to the very capable people elected by them to review the County's Home Rule Charter.
Angie Ponder/Lopez Island