Proposed Charter Amendments – Carolyn Crain

Proposed Charter Amendment No. 1

Concerning County Executive Elected Offices The Clark County Charter Review Commission adopted Resolution No. 2021-1 proposing an amendment to the Clark County Home Rule Charter, concerning County Executive Elected Offices. If approved, the County Executive Elected Offices, which includes the Assessor, Auditor, Clerk, Prosecuting Attorney, Sheriff and Treasurer, would become nonpartisan.

The argument by the Democrats is that all the city races are nonpartisan so these seats should be too.

My opinion:

I contend that anytime you take out information you reduce the ability of the public to really learn substance about these strangers that they are being asked to elect. It is my opinion that all publicly elected seats should be partisan especially in a state that doesn’t allow the public to register by party which further reduces the ability of the public to research in order to determine which policy direction a person might take.

Proposed Charter Amendment No. 2

Concerning County Councilor Offices The Clark County Charter Review Commission adopted Resolution No. 2021-2 proposing an amendment to the Clark County Home Rule Charter, concerning County Councilor Offices. If approved, these offices would become nonpartisan

Democrats argument: Partisanship in a democracy promotes polarization. Having a partisan elected official makes it harder to work in a timely manner and find common solutions for all Clark County residents. Partisanship in the County Council can create an environment where Councilors are influenced more by the political position of their party or political base, instead of focusing on what is best in the long term for all county residents.

My Opinion:

Again, I want to KNOW what policy leanings a candidate running for office has. These seats are financed by political parties and should have the public disclosure of such easily stated in the campaign and voters pamphlets.

Proposed Charter Amendment No. 3

Concerning County Councilor Districts The Clark County Charter Review Commission adopted Resolution No. 2021-3 proposing an amendment to the Clark County Home Rule Charter, concerning County Councilor Districts. If approved, this amendment would expand the Clark County Council from four (4) to five (5) districts. If approved, this would also amend the selection process for the County Council Chair position, requiring the five (5) elected council members to select one (1) of the council members, at the first council hearing of every calendar year, to be the chair for the remainder of that year.

Democrats desire: Currently, the County Council has five members, four representing geographic districts and the Chair elected countywide. This amendment retains the five members, except the countywide chair position becomes a new fifth district representative, who would represent north and much of rural Clark County.

My Opinion:

The statement is bogus on it’s face suggesting that the north and rural county residents currently are not represented. Obviously, they are indeed represented and I would suggest they have extra representation as the chair has the opportunity to come from the 4th district which is the rural area. Furthermore, the removal of a publicly elected chair on a countywide basis removes a vote from the people across the county as to who their leader should be. According to the Democrats theory we the people should not elect a President for this country but rather allow the Congress to select one for us.

Additionally, This process removes the redistricting committee from the equation allowing 15 democrats to dictate to the people who will probably be their next elected official as we saw in the first election held after the adoption of the Homerule charter with district 1 where Temple Lentz unseated Jeanne Stewart and in doing so she verbalized that they (she was on the original commission to create the charter) had drawn district lines to ensure that a democrat held that seat. I recognized the gerrymandering at the time and went out arguing that people should not pass the charter.

A form of government is a separate vehicle than the persons the people elect to represent them in that government position and should remain such. Washington state laws are explicitly written to state that the district lines shall be drawn by a special appointed committee. By including this in a charter review the Democrats have usurped the protections written in law that demand 2 democrats and two republicans shall be assigned the task AND all the laws which state that the district lines are not to be drawn based on political affiliation.

To further help you understand what I am saying I did a breakout of the districts based upon the list of precincts which are in the voters pamphlet on pages 118 through 123. I heard Chuck Green state that the current district lines are not equal in the population as they stand and he is right. They also aren’t similar in land mass which both standards are codified in RCWs. Whose fault is that? I contend it is his and the fault of the other people who sat on the original commission which violated the law by drawing districts in the first place.

That being said allowing 15 democrats to violate law again is not a solution. My analysis clearly reflects what they have done is to use an argument with population where the true argument should be the number of voters. Babies can’t vote! So when the laws are written to stop the density of voters in a precinct at 1500 I suggest that our state legislature is aware of voter balances needed in district lines.

District 2 will be a solid blue instead of a purple district which I contend they had in their long range goals from the start.

District 3 will be a blue district instead of a purple district as well and district 4 will be purple.

District 5 will be the only red district.

So I ask you will Republicans be properly represented in this county ever again? Will we ever have a Republican chair of the council again? Not if we allow them to select our chair internally! We will have at least 3 Democrats sitting on that council deciding what our county planning, economics and sub- committee decisions are. We will have a county council that votes on the ctran board for light rail. You will pay the cost both in lack of representation and in taxation!

We must stop this!

RCW 29A.76.010(4)

(b) Each district shall be as compact as possible.

(c) Each district shall consist of geographically contiguous area.

(d) Population data may not be used for purposes of favoring or disfavoring any racial group or political party

Proposed Charter Amendment No. 4

Regarding Charter Review Frequency and Charter Review Commissioner Terms

The Clark County Charter Review Commission adopted Resolution No. 2021-4 proposing an amendment to the Clark County Home Rule Charter, regarding charter review frequency and charter review commissioner terms. If approved, this amendment would revise the frequency of charter reviews from every ten (10) years to every five (5) years. If approved, this would also amend the duration of charter review commissioner terms from one (1) year to two (2) years.

The Democrats would have you believe you need to review and improve the quality of government. You need to redo your local county constitution!

My Opinion:

This is insane. We do not rewrite our constitution every 5 years and we should not be rewriting our form of government every 5 years based on populous opinions or swings. This is a structural process and if they didn’t do a good job in the first place then they should not have been involved in changing our form of government. This clause is designed to allow them to come back in 5 years and work to redraw district lines again thus further eroding our lawful process of nonpartisan lines.

RCW 29A.76.010(4)

(b) Each district shall be as compact as possible.

(c) Each district shall consist of geographically contiguous area.

(d) Population data may not be used for purposes of favoring or disfavoring any racial group or political party

Proposed Charter Amendment No. 5

Requiring the adoption of an Ethics Code and Autonomous Review Process

The Clark County Charter Review Commission adopted Resolution No. 2021-5 proposing an amendment to the Clark County Home Rule Charter, requiring the adoption of an ethics code and autonomous review process. If approved, this amendment would require the Clark County Council to adopt by ordinance a Code of Ethics on or before July 31, 2022. If approved, this would also require the county manager to establish an autonomous Ethics Review Commission, and a supporting Ethics Oversight and Compliance Office by July 31, 2022

This is the Democrats answer to the fact that there was a ethics code, there is one codified in law by the state, and they claim that there is not one.

My Opinion:

The current chair held a vote to cancel the ethics commission last year in July. Apparently, it is not comfortable for the elected officials to have to police themselves and Gary Medvigy as well as Julie Olsen complained that it was causing dissention on the council for them to be involved in investigating complaints against the chair. I can appreciate that but setting up a fully separate body of nonelected persons who have never held a seat and thus don’t recognize or perhaps won’t want to realize when complaints are frivolous is not the answer. Every single branch of government has a self-policing ethics commission. Currently Clark County employees are autonomous, and we have no vehicle by which to file a complaint. I suggest that the council reinstate the commission that was in place and adopt the code which does not have to be a charter amendment at all.

Here is just part of that law which is codified in our state constitution:

SECTION 30 BRIBERY OR CORRUPT SOLICITATION. The offense of corrupt solicitation of members of the legislature, or of public officers of the state or any municipal division thereof, and any occupation or practice of solicitation of such members or officers to influence their official action, shall be defined by law, and shall be punished by fine and imprisonment. Any person may be compelled to testify in any lawful investigation or judicial proceeding against any person who may be charged with having committed the offense of bribery or corrupt solicitation, or practice of solicitation, and shall not be permitted to withhold his testimony on the ground that it may criminate himself or subject him to public infamy, but such testimony shall not afterwards be used against him in any judicial proceeding – except for perjury in giving such testimony – and any person convicted of either of the offenses aforesaid, shall as part of the punishment therefore, be disqualified from ever holding any position of honor, trust or profit in this state. A member who has a private interest in any bill or measure proposed or pending before the legislature, shall disclose the fact to the house of which he is a member, and shall not vote thereon.

Washington state law has an ethics code. Title 42.52 spells clearly out an ethics code under the law with regards to public service and elected persons. We do not need to recreate the wheel. What we need to do is abide by the law!

Proposed Charter Amendment No. 6

Regarding a Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Clark County Charter Review Commission adopted Resolution No. 2021-6 proposing an amendment to the Clark County Home Rule Charter, regarding a Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. If approved, this amendment would require the county manager to establish a Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion which would monitor, advise, and drive quality improvement regarding equal rights, equity, diversity, and inclusion across county government. If approved, this would also require the county manager to establish a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Commission and the commission members will be appointed by the county manager and confirmed by the county council.

The Democrats would have you believe that our entire country and especially our local government is racist. Thus create another branch of government which we must be taxed to fund and it will solve everything.

My Opinion:

We do not need an equity department. Equity is not constitutional. Equality is. We do not charge the son for the sins of the father and I for one do not want to set up any more ways that the democrats can structure discrimination against a white male and further divide us as a united people. People must be treated equally, hired based on skills not skin color or sex or sexual identity in our government. That is the law and as far as I am concerned the voters in this state voted against a proposal to enact special classes of people treatments so this matter should be settled law. Our state constitution says this with regards to this issue:

SECTION 12  SPECIAL PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES PROHIBITED. No law shall be passed granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens, or corporations.

SECTION 28  HEREDITARY PRIVILEGES ABOLISHED. No hereditary emoluments, privileges, or powers, shall be granted or conferred in this state.

While we know that some discrimination exists in a few people we know that we have made extreme progress in this area, The constant push to make white supremacy and white privilege a larger-than-life issue is not a positive move towards our goal of equality as it simply brews hatred and fear. Our grandchildren should not be made to live in a world where the color of their skin is the deciding factor in the ability to achieve a higher education or a job. They should not be made to pay financially for the perceived losses of someone who they never met which was decided by someone unknown (whether rightly or wrongly) to have been perpetrated by the 10th generation back Grandfather. The terminology using EQUITY demands future generation PAY for the perceived wrongs. The right to attempt to achieve happiness belongs to all citizens in this country and to that end I believe that we must vote this amendment down as we the people have done statewide numerous times before.

Proposed Charter Amendment No. 7

Making Minor Corrections to the Clark County Home Rule Charter

The Clark County Charter Review Commission adopted Resolution No. 2021-7 proposing an amendment to the Clark County Home Rule Charter, making minor corrections. If approved, this amendment would make minor corrections and technical clarifications to the Charter.

My Opinion:

The language in these minor corrections under 7.1 seems to remove the council from the powers of the purse under 2.4 by bringing into question their ability to be involved in the negotiations of contracts and wages. It specifically removes the term establish and replaces it with the term provide.

The language under 7.11 changes the redistricting from the current RCW laws to a new charter law giving the job to the charter review committee indefinitely. See RCW 29A.76.010

The Language under 7.12 deals with redistricting committees during census years but reviews are set for every census reporting year this will never occur as they will always bump into the authority of the charter review commission. New language added is precinct boundary lines.

The language in 7.13 pertains to initiative and petition processes giving that authority for approval to the prosecuting attorney’s office allowing him to make an opinion as to the legality of the scope of an initiative within 10 days rather than undefined time. Sets initiative petitions at 10% and Referendums at 10% while state law RCW 29A.72.150 requires 8%.

The language in 7.16 has been amended to be inclusive of anti-discrimination based upon citizenship or immigration status!

Proposed Charter Amendment No. 8

Concerning procedures for processing initiative, mini-initiative, and referenda petitions

The Clark County Council adopted Ordinance No. 2021-07-11 proposing an amendment to the Clark County Home Rule Charter concerning procedures for processing initiative, mini-initiative, and referenda petitions. If approved, this amendment would make minor corrections and clarify the procedures and timelines that Clark County elected officials must follow to process citizen petitions for initiatives, mini-initiatives, and referenda

The language in 7.13 pertains to initiative and petition processes giving that authority for approval of legality to the prosecuting attorney’s office. Sets mini initiative petitions at 3% and regular initiatives at 10% and Referendums at 10%. State law RCW 29A.72.150 requires 8% / The language in 7.13 pertains to initiative and petition processes giving that authority for approval to the prosecuting attorney’s office for a legality statement.

Proposed Charter Amendment No. 9

Concerning eligibility to vote on certain initiatives, mini-initiatives, and referenda

The Clark County Council adopted Ordinance No. 2021-7-12 proposing an amendment to the Clark County Home Rule Charter concerning eligibility to vote on certain initiatives, mini-initiatives, and referenda. If approved, this amendment would allow only registered voters in unincorporated Clark County to file and sign petitions for and to vote upon initiatives, mini-initiatives, and referenda relating to ordinances that would be effective exclusively in the unincorporated areas of Clark County.

Sets minimum petitions at 10% all the rest of the regs apply.

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