Charter Review panel takes ideas to the public

Monday, May 21, 2007

Peninsula News Network

Should Clallam County switch back to a system where the Department of Community Development Director is appointed by commissioners, and not elected by the voters?

Just three years after voters approved the novel step of turning the DCD over to an elected official, the 15-member Charter Review Commission is toying with the idea of scrapping the system.

Voters had previously amended the Charter so that the head of DCD would be selected at the polls, instead of being an appointment of the county commissioners. But Rob Robertson, who stepped down without running for re-election last year, and current DCD Director John Miller, who won the position by default have suggested the public might be better served if the job were an appointed one in the future. Robertson in particular has said he learned the position required much more technical background than he had supposed earlier, and has said it might be better if that director were selected based on their qualifications.

The Charter Commission hasn’t decided whether to do that, but the concept is one of several proposed changes to the county’s “constitution” the panel is floating for public comment, starting this week.

Other ideas up for consideration are limits on campaign spending and contributions for county races, setting up a system for “instant runoff” voting, and even making changes to the county’s system of using county commissioners and a county administrator as the executive branch.

The first hearing was taking place Monday night in Sequim, with a second hearing in Port Angeles June 4th and a final hearing June 18th in Forks.


Freeholders take testimony on proposed charter changes

May 21st, 2007 - 7:27am


(Sequim) -- The Clallam County Charter Review Commission holds the first in a series of public hearings tonight. Freeholders will take testimony on a number of issues that could go before voters this fall as changes to the county's governing document. Tonight's hearing starts at 6:30 at the Guy Cole Convention Center in Sequim. Among the issues being considered are: Changing the community development director back to an appointed position, allowing instant runoff voting, limiting campaign spending and contributions for county races and possible changes to the county's commissioner/administrator form of government. Freeholders will hold hearings in Port Angeles and Forks next month.



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