Clallam County: Changes to 'County Constitution" to be submitted to voters for approval - Proposals to elect director of community development, strengthen initiative and referendum processes included


August 2, 2002

(Port Angeles, WA) -- Clallam County voters will decide in November whether or not the Director of the Department of Community Development will become an elected official. The Clallam County Charter Review Commission has proposed amending the County Home Rule Charter to add the new elected office. The proposal would convert the administrative office of DCD Director into an elected office and would establish the duties and responsibilities of the office. 

Freeholders voted 9-4 last night to add the DCD issue to this year's general election ballot in Clallam County. Charter Review Commission Terry Roth was one of the nine in favor of moving the DCD director issue onto the fall ballot. Former Port Angeles Mayor Joan Sargent says the idea of an elected DCD director is "quite ridiculous". Forks City Attorney Rod Fleck says he voted yes on the proposal to represent the constituents who elected him to the Charter Review Commission. 

Four other ballot titles on proposed charter amendments are going to the November general election ballot. One proposal would add language regarding the selection, qualifications, and duties and responsibilities of the County Administrator. 

Another ballot title concerns the redistricting of County Commissioner districts. The proposal would establish a priority of factors to be considered when redistricting, plus established new timelines for the redistricting process and provide for public hearings. 

An additional proposal would require a primary for non-partisan offices only when there are three or more candidates for the office. 

Finally, a proposal to amend the Home Rule Charter concerning the initiative, mini-initiative and referendum processes will appear on the November ballot. The proposal would delete existing Home Rule Charter Sections on the topics and replace them with new provisions. 

Meantime, the Charter Review Commission accepted two resignations last night, dropping the total of Freeholders from 15 to 13. Ken Schermer of Port Angeles and Lawrence Gaydeski submitted letters to the Commission citing health issues as the reason for resigning as Freeholders.

Read the proposed changes here.

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