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Charter can be improved; vote 'Yes' on CRC's Prop. 1-3 | Letters
The Charter has been a good experiment but the adjustments recommended by the Charter Review Committee will make it better.
The three amendment proposals deserve the public’s support.
Many of us find that only being able to have a voice in the choice of 1-in-6 council members under the current charter is far less representative than the proposal to be able to vote for all three council members.
Citizens have also found that trying to get things done and dealing with issues by first going through one council member, then five additional council members, then a county administrator is frustrating.
Lastly, under the current charter, the county administrator pretty much marches to his own drum. It takes a majority of four council members to adjust the county’s course and for the poor citizen, there may be no response at all.
Under the three-council member system that 33 of the 39 counties in the state follow, most citizens and county staff find the system works. When the council can meet with their department heads, discuss and establish policy direction and move forward, everyone knows what they are going to be doing and the work gets done.
If an administrator is assigned special projects by the council, it extends the ability of the council to respond to the citizens.
With a three-member council, no single elected official is in a position to take any action regarding county staff or policy. Any action is subject to a majority vote of the council that reflects the will of the citizens.
Our local government belongs to our citizens. The proposed amendments will make it work better.
I sincerely hope that San Juan County voters will vote in favor of the three improvements to our charter as proposed by the charter committee.
Thank you for listening.
John Evans/Doe Bay, Orcas Island
— Editor's note: John Evans is a former County Commissioner, 1992 to 2004.