I have served on the San Juan County Council for almost four years. Much of this time your county council has dealt with the problems of the past. Long overdue issues such as solid waste, critical areas protections, emergency and wireless communications, the housing element,eEssential public facilities and others are completed or nearing completion.
The past four years have been financially tough for the county. The county council, county administrator, other electeds and county employees have spent extensive time and energy figuring out how to keep the lights on and improve the way we do the business of the people. Thanks to these collaborative efforts, the state gave San Juan County a strong bill of financial health in a recently completed audit.
On Oct. 15, the county administrator pro-tem presented a forward-looking 2013 budget together with a preview of years to follow. As part of the presentation we discussed how to embrace the future. For the first time during my tenure we were in a position to have this kind of consideration.
Having gone through such tough budgeting years my reaction was visceral. Most of my term was spent in a dark financial valley dealing with issues that had been kicked down the road; to escape we had to labor long and hard. While we are not quite yet at the summit, we are close enough that the sun is on our back and we are planning for a much brighter and more stable future.
San Juan County is in a good place through an enormous amount of hard work and through finally being able to take full advantage of the strengths of charter government. Custodians of the past would suggest we go back into the dark valley by revoking key parts of Home Rule. In the strongest terms I see this suggested return as a huge mistake. Instead let’s stay the course; consolidate our gains and move forward. Our current form of governance is working and we can make it even better. Propositions 1 and 2 are counter productive to this goal. Please join me in rejecting the charter review.