Charter amendments right on target; three reasons why | Letters
September 4, 2012 · Updated 11:49 AM
I am recommending that you vote yes on the proposed charter amendments, Propositions 1, 2, and 3, for the following reasons:
— Overkill: We don’t need six people on the County Council. We only need three. Observing the meetings of the current council, one can’t help but note the long list of issues they seem to think are worthy of their docket and the laborious discussions that ensue. Much of this has to do with the multitude of outside committees and issue groups being attended by the six council people.
They have too much time on their hands and need to spend part of their valuable time handling executive/management decisions. This leads me to the next point.
— Administration: Administrative/Executive authority needs to be returned to the council. With an experienced county manager and competent department heads, the council can, and should, be actively involved in running the affairs of the county.
Any citizen should be able to call or meet with their council person on practically any subject and seek assistance or express ideas and opinions. This is the way it has always been in our county. But the recent charter provision took away the executive role from the council and gave it to an administrator who doesn’t report to the citizens.
— Open meetings: Please, no more sub-committee meetings. All the council business needs to be done in open, properly advertised sessions.
With three conscientious, committed, and reasonably intelligent council members, the proper management and supervision of all the county functions can take place. This is the way it happens in 33 of the 39 counties in Washington, and we know it can work in San Juan County as well.
Tom Starr/San Juan Island
— Editor’s note: Tom Starr is a former county commissioner, 1993-1996.