By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

County drops expansion referral

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I agree with Olsen an important issue is being discussed. Form a Charter Committee. It does not have to invent the wheel. Craft a Charter, put it out for discussion like this last proposal, and see if it makes sense. There will always be some who want to keep the 3 paid system.


Rather than going through the struggle of an initiative, the commission can create, on their own vote, a charter committee. The committee would have up to two years to draft a charter, and conduct public hearings, before putting the charter on the ballot for a county-wide vote. This open process would be the best course toward clarity, and remove the board from direct control.

Lindsay Berschauer

I agree with Commissioner Starrett that this was a tremendous waste of county resources and time. If this proposal had gone through the ballot initiative process, these issues would have been flushed out without wasting taxpayer dollars. Commissioners Olson and Kulla should have told this group to use the petition process from the beginning. A correction for the record: I am not opposed to or in favor of becoming a home rule county. It is too early to determine that. The details of the charter are what will matter. Some counties that have switched to home rule have significant protections like WA Cty, others gave away the farm (Mult. Cty). So what is included in the charter is key. If the commission wants to start that process and set up a committee, my understanding is that they will choose 4 members, our county legislators will choose 4 members, and then those 8 people will collectively choose the 9th member. My statement about using the initiative process was referring to a public vote, which we would have with a home rule proposal.


I am not afraid to admit that I am skeptical of moving to a 5 member commission. One of my favorite arguments in favor is that it would give a voice to the smaller communities. I did not know that people from smaller communities have always been restricted from running in the past.


What a waste of time, money, and resources. And for what? To have more useless, bloated "management" at taxpayers expense? Please.


Correction. Commissioner Starrett did not accuse county STAFF of “ obfuscation and sanitizing estimates of the total cost”. In fact, our Administration worked up a detailed estimate of the total cost of adding two commissioners and related expenses approaching close to three times the figure repeatedly cited by those supporting the expansion. That figure was not used in coverage of this story.


The sheer entitlement of forcing this issue is astounding to me. Commissioner Kulla and Olsen act as though the counties resources are their private resources to use for their personal political pet issues. How many tax dollars were used for this not to mention a person would have to be stupid to think they hadn't discussed this outside of meetings. What's worse is that my children and grandchildren have substandard police protection, roads that are clearly in need of repair and lacking adequate housing all the while these commissioners are spending money and being self serving.

A New Generation

Who ever said that there would be non-paid mambers (except in this discussion thread)? How like Mary to slam the citizens who took the time to do research, conduct five community meetings, seek legal counsel, and bring it to the Board (who supposedly represent us). Wow. Entitlement? By whom? She continues to act very threatened and I am glad that this Home Rule and charter committee will go forward, as it remains for the people to design what is representative of their interests. Clearly, the three member board model hasn't and isn't working. I agree with Sponge. The draft initiative that this group brought forward was bungled by the County into something that didn't even remotely resemble what they were going to vote on. Keep it simple, keep it away from the County and the politicization (potential candidates for office using it as a flashpoint, which was unappreciated) of the process. I believe in the process, and look forward to attending one of their community meetings. Hooray for democracy!

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