08/02/2017: "Wanted: Writers of Arguments "Against" Ballot Measures"
By Milene Henley
You’re flipping through your Voters’ Pamphlet for the upcoming October election, eager to read about the local measures you see on the ballot, and, “What! Why are there arguments FOR all the measures, and no arguments AGAINST?”
According to state law, it is the responsibility of every district that puts a measure on the ballot to appoint committees to write arguments both for and against the measure. Surprisingly (yes, I’m saying that tongue-in-cheek), most districts are unable to find anyone willing to write arguments against their measures.
If a district is unable to appoint committees, that responsibility falls to the County Auditor. So here I am, once again seeking people to write the arguments nobody wants to write: the “con” arguments.
Four local measures will appear on the general election ballot this November. None, so far, have opposing arguments. The Orcas Island School District has placed two measures on the ballot. One is a proposition authorizing the district to issue bonds for a variety of facility improvements; the second is a proposition for a six-year capital projects levy. The Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District is proposing a one-year levy for 2018 in the amount of $105,000. The levy for 2017 was $80,000. Finally, a citizens’ initiative concerning immigration will go to the voters in November �" unless adopted by the County Council before then.
If you’re interesting in writing an opposing argument, please contact the Auditor at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (360) 370-7558. Up to three people (per measure) may be named as argument writers, though they may seek the assistance of as many people as needed. Statements are limited to 250 words.
(Milene Henley is the San Juan County Auditor)