Interim commissioner Cam Parry has lambasted a home rule county charter proposal and is quoted in the paper saying “‘If Ahmadinejad was to design democracy for his country, this would be the blueprint.” While I believe there are some serious problems with the charter as written that are likely to make it unpalatable to the voters the document is a knee jerk reaction to the runaway freight train behavior of the current commission. The charter seeks to empower the voters while severely restricting the commissioners, something I can’t imagine advocated by the president of Iran.
Tomorrow, for example, the two interim commissioners along with Bob Main will award a contract to demolish a multimillion dollar public asset based upon the report of one engineer and without considering repair bids. The charter authors seek to curb the scope and authority of the commissioners and transfer it to the voting public albeit the charter restrictions should be for high dollar matters only.
A home rule charter might enable the implementation of equitable property taxes on large timber properties as well as doing away with low or no return tax investments like urban renewal and enterprise zone exemptions.
What this initiative does is demonstrate the power the people can actually wield in the face of rampant campaign spending and unhealthy corporate influence. If people organize there is no limit to what might be accomplished despite having a nightmare team of commissioners on board and on deck.
The initiative ballot title has been published on the county’s website here