The letter about home rule charters by Thadd May was factually incorrect, terribly misleading and plain wrong. He claimed the Clark County charter was “overwhelmingly defeated.” It passed by 7 percent. He claimed we’ve voted on two county home rule charters, and they “overwhelmingly failed.” In fact, we’ve voted on one – in 1979. It barely lost by 4.3 percent. The other vote was on a city-county charter, which is totally different and comes under a different constitutional provision.
He claimed it would cost more, raise property taxes and expand county government. None of that is possible under the Constitution and laws of the state of Washington. Passing a home rule charter would not permit new taxes and increased taxing authority. It likely would, on the other hand, set up a more streamlined, efficient and fiscally accountable government. After the empty jail situation, expensive law suits and other fiascos, it’s time for Thurston County to change to home rule and get a government we Americans believe in – with real separation of powers, checks and balances and accountable leadership.
Let the conversation begin with the election of freeholders (delegates) to draft a charter for the people’s vote. We, the citizens, can craft a county government that better fits 21st century Thurston County than the one crafted by the state Legislature in the 1890s.
Sam Reed, Secretary of State – 2001-2013
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