03/30/2012: "Charter Review Commission Meets Saturday In FH"
The San Juan County Charter Review Commission (CRC) meets Saturday (03-31-12) in Friday Harbor at the SJI Grange Bld, 8:30 am to 2pm Public access is at 9am and 12pm.
The last meeting was held on Orcas, at which County Prosecuting Attorney Randy Gaylord provided information on laws governing a transition if the CRC were to recommend major structural changes resulting in more or less council members. and going back to countywide partisan elections.
At the Orcas meeting the CRC moved and passed motions dealing with the issue of a County Administrator, starting by suggesting the position be continued, but adding language to emphasize what is already the case, that " the Administrator as directly responsible to the Council and making it clear that having an Administrator does not change the relationship of the Council members to their constituents or to other elected officials" and that the Administrator should continue to an "at will" position, and not an elected position.
There was discussion on recommending council salaries be set at 110% of the county wide median income, and proposal the Auditor be appointed (not elected) and a new elected position be created to over see the election functions now controlled by the Auditor.
The CRC is charged with reviewing the Charter “to determine its adequacy and suitability to the needs of the County.” Changes that they propose will be put on the ballot for the public to vote on in November.
The current working model of the CRC includes a three-member full-time commission with legislative and administrative authority, a professional County Administrator directly responsible to the elected commission, countywide non-partisan elections and maintains the powers of initiative, referendum and mini-initiative.
At future meetings they will address "how to transition in the change, setting the salaries of elected officials, whether to propose changes to the Hearing Examiner system, and clarification of budget authority and the budgeting process."
The April 7th meeting is in Lopez village from 8am to 3pm. Members of the public are encouraged to attend the meetings and to contact any member of the Commission to voice their opinions.
Supporting and additional information is available at the CRC website: www.sanjuanco.com/committees/charterreview.
All e-mails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org will be received by all of the CRC members.