Why the Home Rule Charter Must be Stopped

Politicians and bureaucrats are always trying to slip one past the public, but this ‘Home Rule Charter’ in WA State is unbelievable.  I realize that this pertains to the county and state that I live in, but if this charter passes, it will be a model for other states, especially democrat-controlled states, to follow, and they will attempt to do this exact same thing wherever they can.  The other day, I spoke with Chuck Miller, an old friend of mine, who just happens to be the Chairman for a group called “Washington Citizens for Responsible Government.” Chuck wanted to alert me about this particular charter. If it passes, it would effectively eliminate any opportunity for regular citizens to have any kind of voice or say so, when it comes to over-site with our county commissioners.

Here is what Mr. Miller had to say to me regarding the Home Rule Charter:

“Power would be shifted to an un-elected County Manager.  The 3 full-time Commissioners would be shifted to 5 part-time Council Members that will be totally dependent on newly elected staff for critical information and department oversight. Your representative’s ability to help our Citizens is greatly diminished.  Only 1 Council Member is authorized to speak on behalf of the County as the permanent Chair (with a higher salary).  Four Council Members are not allowed to “intercede” on your behalf.  Don’t be fooled by the sales job!  Over time taxpayers, will bear the burden of added staff salaries, generous benefits packages, vacation pay, and retirement benefits.  No information is provided on the cost of the powerful County Manager and a new Deputy Manager.  They did this on purpose to deceive voters! Hang onto your wallets and be ready for the cost of bigger Charter government, more intrusive government, and more bloated County government.

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“Initiative and Referendum is the CARROT offered in this Charter. Can Citizens use it to repeal a tax or fee, fix a policy, change a program, reduce spending, or even amend the Charter itself? 

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“NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, and NO! It’s not worth loosing representative Democracy for this carrot! Our Clark County Citizens have voted down the Charter 3 times in the past and this proposed Charter is the worst they have ever come up with! 

“Please go to the web site for additional information votenocharter.com and please donate by check to “Don’t Lose Your Voice PAC” 10507 S.E. 11th Street Vancouver WA. 98664 

“Richard, time is short. The ballots will drop 10/15/14, and that is just a few days away”

Sound familiar, folks? It should; it’s an old democrat trick.

Here is more detailed information about this charter:


In November 2013, Clark County (WA) voters elected five county residents from each of the three Clark County Commissioner districts to serve as a Board of Freeholders. In May 2014, the board approved a drafted home rule charter, specifying a form of government for the county, to be placed on the ballot for the November 4th general election. By law, the Board of Freeholders dissolved when the proposed charter was completed. According to one of the (now former) Freeholders, the aim of the proposed charter is “to give taxpayers better representation, more local control and needed protections against abuse of power and wasteful government.” In my view, if this was the aim of the Board of Freeholders, they missed their target altogether. In fact, I believe the proposed charter would produce results that are fully opposite of the board’s stated objectives. The following summarizes my perspective on this:


If you’re in favor of self-government, you should vote “No!” on the proposed Clark County Home Rule Charter. If you’re in favor of handing over your authority to a small group of career politicians, their special interest friends and the wasteful bureaucracy they aim to build up, you should vote “Yes.” It’s that simple.


Presently, Clark County government is headed up by three full-time elected Commissioners. This means you have ultimate control by choosing to vote a Commissioner in or out at the end of their respective four-year term.


The proposed Charter would replace the three full-time Commissioners with five part-time Councilors whose authority would be placed in an appointed County Executive – i.e. an unelected bureaucrat. This would mean the complete removal of the ultimate control you presently have over Clark County government.


For clarity on this last point, think about the current County Commissioner you are most interested in removing from office. Now, think about that person resigning and successfully seeking to be appointed as the new County Executive (with his or her resume, it would be hard to fault their qualifications). Now what are you going to do?!


The pro-Charter elitists have added a petition and initiative process to their proposal, as a seeming enticement to vote “Yes.” Since it cannot be used to eliminate or reduce taxes or fees, or change a county policy, or stop or amend a county project, or add or get rid of a program, or reverse a budget decision, or amend the charter or repeal the charter, or…it is pretty much impotent.

Although the aspect of the proposed Charter that takes authority out of the hands of Clark County voters provides more than enough reason for a “NO!” vote, it has many other negative features. These include: The marginalization of rural interests through redistricting and a planned four-year transition that is likely to bring chaos to a presently stable county government, where the costs of governing have been seeing dramatic reductions, contributing to the overall thriving of the county itself.

As the British say, the proof of the pudding is in its eating. There are 133 counties on the West Coast. Only 28 are Charter Counties. Only 5 of them have County Executives. Zero (0) of them have County Executives with the autonomy Clark County’s would have. This makes it abundantly clear that the right thing to do is to …

Vote NO Charter!


Folks, this may be about one county in one state (right now that is), but if they can squeak this one past the voters in my county and state…how long before they do the very same thing in your county and in your state?  Right now, we have an out of control government in our nation’s capital, but this is how these shyster’s will finish us off and take everything away from us. There’s a lot of big money behind this charter…liberal/democrat money and we just can’t let them get away with it.

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