No to County Charter Prop 1 | Letter

False: “Proposition 1 is a small change in the Charter.”

True: This represents small change with enormous consequences. This would remove a prohibition on changing County Council districts by initiative. This restriction was originally placed in the proposed Charter by the Freeholders, and passed by voters in 2005. It was retained in the revised Charter proposed by the Charter Review Commission and passed by voters in 2012 granting each citizen the right to vote for all council positions.

False: “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

True: The original Charter specifically excluded redistricting from the initiative process to allow greater transparency, and to allow citizens input throughout; from recognition of who the proponents are, to viewing the initial draft, and in initiating changes throughout the public hearing process. This attempt brings the word “gerrymandering” to mind.

False: “Changes can only be made every 10 years.”

True: Contrary to the incomplete Pro Statement in the Voter’s Pamphlet that Charter Review Commissions can only be held every ten years; they can thereafter be held as often as every other year.

[Section 9.20 – Election Procedures and Period of Office

(1) The County Council shall cause an election of a CRC in 2020 and at least every ten (10) years thereafter provided that the CRC election is held in an even numbered year.]

The reason for this time-table was to prevent the election for CRC occurring in a low voter turn-out year enabling any group from packing the CRC with “their” people. The CRC discussed this. This provision is no accident. It’s very inception was to safeguard citizens from the kind of back-door special-interest politicking exhibited now.

False: “There is nothing more or less democratic, or secretive about an initiative than a Charter Commission.”

True: This was originally initiated by a small group of people in secret, and submitted in an effort to redistrict the county “their” way. This is in direct contrast with the CRC process which allows for full transparency.

Reject proposition 1.

Michael Johnson

Orcas Island