Charter review panel topic of Port Angeles forum Monday

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — What would you like to see changed in county government?

Clallam County's “constitution” for county government will come under scrutiny again next year.

A forum from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Raymond Carver Room of the Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody St., will tell how to run in November for the commission that will examine the charter and recommend changes to voters.

The League of Women Voters of Clallam County has organized a panel discussion on Clallam County's home-rule charter, the charter review process and how to run for the commission.

Candidates for the 15-member commission will file for positions May 12-16 for the November general election. There is no filing fee for the one-year nonpartisan, volunteer positions.

Commissioners will meet to evaluate the charter beginning in January. Proposed amendments would go before voters in November 2015.

The county's charter has undergone review by five commissions: in 1982, 1988, 1993, 2001 and 2006.

Port Angeles resident Norma Turner, who served on four of those commissions and who will be on Monday's panel, encourages county residents to run.

“Running for the charter review commission is like taking Civics 101,” she said.

“It gives people an opportunity to see how county government works. And if they disagree, they can propose to change it.”

Also serving on the panel will be:

■ Mike Doherty, one of the three Clallam County commissioners, will explain what it means to be a charter county, tell the history of Clallam's charter and discuss his experience with the charter over the years.

■ Clallam County Auditor Patty Rosand, who will talk about how to file for the election.

■ Former Charter Review Commissioner Mickie Vail, who, along with Turner, will discuss how to be an effective commissioner.

Questions will be taken from the public.

Home-rule county

Clallam County is one of six counties in the state that operate under a home-rule charter, unlike most Washington counties where procedures are dictated by the Legislature.

Clallam County's charter, adopted by voters in 1976, allows it to change requirements for county operations beyond those required by the state. Any changes, however, must comply with state law.

Key changes from the state statutory form of government in Clallam County include many nonpartisan elected officials, a county initiative and referendum process, and an elected director for the county Department of Community Development.

Commissioners are elected every eight years, according to the present provision in the charter.

Five from each district

Five commissioners will be elected from each of the three county commissioner districts.

District 1 extends from the eastern county line to Boyce Road in Carlsborg. District 2 is the area between Boyce Road and Valley Creek in Port Angeles. District 3 covers the West End, beginning at Valley Creek.

In several counties, including neighboring Jefferson last year, charter supporters have tried and failed to have charters adopted.

Turner said charter review commissioners who serve next year also could propose changes for the November 2016 election

Last modified: April 12. 2014 9:51PM
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