From the democratian: .More:
In Our View: Solutions … No Problems
County commissioners once again ponder reforming local government
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
When a wild goose chase clearly defines itself before it even begins, responsible travelers will decline to embark on the journey. Such is the case before Clark County commissioners as they ponder another expedition into the well-known futility of changing county government to a home rule charter.
Another apt metaphor for this crusade is a solution in search of a problem. Voters have rejected a proposed home rule charter three times in 20 years, most recently in 2002. This micro-introspection of a macro-bureaucracy became so yawn-inducing in 2011 that county commissioners declined to even pull out the stethoscope. Seven public meetings were attended by a grand total of 113 people. (The level of interest might have been even lower than such a paltry number denotes, because there's no way of knowing how many people attended multiple meetings). In response, county commissioners correctly declined to pursue the matter further.
We'll see if the new board of county commissioners is equally perceptive. They could consider the matter this week.
Granted, all forms of government should be subject to frequent review, as a healthy method of being held accountable. But on this repair job, we're having a hard time finding what's broken.
Reforming county government could include any of a dozen or more changes, none of which have been accompanied by any measurable public demand. This lack of motivation might explain why only six of 39 counties in Washington have adopted home rule charters. As Erik Hidle explained in a Saturday Columbian story, potential changes could include giving residents referendum powers on county issues, changing some elected offices to appointed jobs, increasing the number of commissioners and making office nonpartisan.
And from the local democrat party's direct swindle sheet:
Proposed changes in county charter could be awfulHere's was the critical element and why Stuart, then-Commissioner Boldt, the democrats and the democratian freaked out over even the possibility:
Clark County’s government structure is somewhat antique and outdated. A system invented to manage road construction and not much else in the way of governance clanks along clumsily in a high-speed era of complex and varied civic action.
Streamlining and modernizing the machine appeals to the progressive psyche, but the folks who have convinced the Board of Clark County Commissioners to consider adopting a new county charter have other agenda priorities.
They hope to give rural interests dominance over urban values. They suppose they can make it harder for county government to raise and spend money on social problems and infrastructure capital.
They are far away from achieving their goals, but inattention from thoughtful citizens could ease their path.
Without much evident public support, the charter-change advocates have persuaded the county commissioners to start the ball rolling toward charter change for the third time in recent history. In January the board formally adopted a resolution to consider a move from the present form of government to something different.
Different how? That depends entirely on a panel of elected freeholders and how ably they can sell their program.
So far the county commissioners have ordained that, should the charter process go forward, each of the three commissioner districts will be represented by five freeholders who would be elected at the Nov. 8 general election. Any registered voter would be qualified to seek election to the board of freeholders. Upon their election the freeholders would establish a schedule of hearings and meetings for the consideration of what might be included in a new county charter. Upon a majority vote by the freeholders, the Board of Clark County Commissioners would be obliged by tradition if not certainly by law to lay the proposed charter before the electorate.
They hope to give rural interests dominance over urban values.That's it. In a nutshell. In democrat land, having "urban values" dominate "rural interests" is just swell. But the other way around?
Not so much.
And NOW, all of a sudden, because Commissioners Mielke and Madore hired Sen. Don Benton to run Environment, that's ALLLL changed... at least for the whackers on the left.
And here's the thing: I hope they do it.
The democratian, however seems to be strangely silent on the issue.
Maybe it's because as dim a bulb as Brancaccio is, even he can see through the haze clearly enough to understand that first: the democrats risk the most here, because there is little question that either a Home Rule charter or any other mechanism that would result in district general elections would likely result in a permanent GOP Majority on the council.
Further, even if there was a charter, there's no way it could be set up to micromanage legal personnel decisions.
So, by all means: get that charter thing going on. I support it because, of course, with a charter, we could ignore clowns like Leavitt and hold a county wide vote on this disaster he's brought us to known as the CRC Scam... if it exists beyond June, that is.