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Proposed charter demonstrates potential of citizen initiatives

Proposed charter demonstrates potential of citizen initiatives

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


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About magix

Profile photo of magix When my oldest son, a Marine, left for war and crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq in March 2003 I started writing my conscience. After two tours that young combat veteran’s mother is now an ardent peace activist and advocate for social, environmental and economic justice. MGx has matured since those early vents and ramblings and now covers relevant and important local and regional matters in addition to national and global affairs.


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9 Responses to "Proposed charter demonstrates potential of citizen initiatives"

  1. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-50 alignnone photo of aghast!
    aghast!  May 31, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    I don’t like it either

  2. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-50 alignnone photo of Tony
    TonyCapo  May 30, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    I do not like it.

  3. themguys  May 29, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    May 29, 2012 – 9:05 am

    Don’t be boring, Kay.

    What IS a Democrat?

    Shouldn’t you have known that before you named yourself one?

    How many years have YOU been in education?

    And THIS is what you have to show for it? A complete discrespect of the people. You’ve BECOME Jon Barton, but he’s already got the public teats taken, you should just keep the one you’ve got. And you have no cred to come here and demand anything of anyone. Enjoy Europe.

  4. MarkM  May 29, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Don’t be boring, Kay.

    What IS a Democrat?

  5. den  May 29, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    That sure was a great testimonial for our National School, “Educational” system, I think you got it right. They are teaching the socialist civics curriculum.

  6. themguys  May 29, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    “And you want to turn these voters loose on the Coos County budget?

    A tad eliteist aren’t you Mark? Aren’t you on vacation in Europe? Why are you bothering your precious head about what those ignorant stupid dirty uneducated voters are doing in Coos County? Why?

    If I had someone who worked and could take me to Europe? I sure as hell wouldn’t be on M’s blog ! But that’s just me.

    There are so many names I’d like to call you from this one post of yours Mark. You strut around with the moniker”the progressive voice of coos county” don’t you? What about your total disgust of the voters of this county? Is that part of your very special “progressive” mind? You call yourself a democrat, is that a progressive aspect of your personality when you speak of others in that eliteist , condescending whiney-assed voice of yours?

    I’m glad to know I can still be ‘had’ by those pretenders among us, I really did think you might be a democrat, you aren’t, never will be. And that’s why I refused to join your little “faux democrat party, here in coos county”. Haw, sit at that table with you, when you so clearly despise your neighbors? The voters of Coos County? Really Mark? Why don’t you let your little woman set you up somewhere in Europe and you could stay there. Where the hell do you fit in Coos County anyway? The SCDC crowd uses you, chuckling about you as they leave the room, just as they do Pickering, and you sho as hell ain’t no
    democrat, so I don’t know where the hell you think you belong. I don’t think it’s here. You are one confused, angry loser of a public election who was pimped up to believe he sits at “their” table. You don’t, you are a joke to them Mark. It’s sadly true, but you keep coming back with your gibberish about this and that.

    You have no moral compass Mark, I told you that last year, it’s even more evident today. If you have decided to be a public person, Rule No. 1 should be not to insult the voters. You can’t stop from it.

  7. MarkM  May 29, 2012 at 6:39 AM

    A government in the hands of the People. Sounds great , RUG– except if these are the same people that Newsweek found last year alarmingly unable to pass the US Citizenship test.

    38% of American citizens failed.

    29% couldn’t name the vice president. 73% couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War. 44%were unable to define the Bill of Rights. And 6% couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar. That would be the Fourth of July. (Don’t know the results on the question: What color was Washington’s white horse.)

    Repeatedly other Western nations (Britain, Denmark, Finland, etc.) outscore their American counterparts in basic, general political and economic knowledge. For example, the current conflict over government spending illustrates the new dangers of ignorance. Every economist knows how to deal with the debt: cost-saving reforms to big-ticket entitlement programs; cuts to our bloated defense budget; and (if growth remains slow) tax reforms designed to refill our depleted revenue coffers. But poll after poll shows that American voters have no clue what the budget actually looks like. A 2010 World Public Opinion survey found that Americans want to tackle deficits by cutting foreign aid from what they believe is the current level (27 percent of the budget) to a more prudent 13 percent. The real number is under 1 percent. A Jan. 25 CNN poll, meanwhile, discovered that even though 71 percent of voters want smaller government, vast majorities oppose cuts to Medicare (81 percent), Social Security (78 percent), and Medicaid (70 percent). Instead, they prefer to slash waste—a category that, in their fantasy world, seems to include 50 percent of spending, according to a 2009 Gallup poll.

    And you want to turn these voters loose on the Coos County budget? Good luck with that. Of course, I’m sure you’ll want to argue next that the average Coos County citizen is smarter than the average bear. Can’t wait to hear that argument. Get out much?

    Maybe you’ve been sleeping too much.

    As for me, I think it’s just fine and dandy to elect smart people to represent us and run things in our best interest. The rub is finding the right smart people.

    But putting government in the hands of the people? Be careful what you wish for.

  8. RUGullible  May 29, 2012 at 5:34 AM

    I don’t support the Charter as written. Saying that, when does MarkM sleep? 0109? He must have an alarm that alerts him each and every time MGX and others (especially his friend “Kay” posts something. It took eight months according to the paper reporter who occasionally gets things wrong. MarkM, I, and others, found out when the authors wanted us to be informed. They had no obligation to inform us earlier. Sure MarkM, all we need is another conmmittee formed by Messerle and Parry. Contrary to what Mr. Messerle’s spokespeople state, the citizens are not stupid. They will read the document. Too many will blindly follow the lead of the World paper that is not going to let this Charter pass. Fear not that government will be in the hands of the people MarkM.

  9. MarkM  May 29, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Indeed. Just imagine how powerful this county charter initiative could be had more than two citizens written it. In the light of day.

    It took eight months to write. Eight months. And we don’t find out about until they want our stamp of approval?


    Want a new charter? Form a Charter Committee. Invite everyone. Then you can say you are doing the People’s business. This is a charter for Herne-Bell County, a place that only exists in the minds of two.


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