In response to the March 19 Columbian editorial ,” Solutions…No problems” (about the county considering a home rule charter), the newspaper stated that, on this repair job, it is having a hard time finding what’s broken. If you just look at county government, special interests, and a compliant press, everything is fine. The only thing left out is the people.
If the county makes a decision that people feel is wrong, they have no voice. They have no way of challenging the board’s decision without a home rule charter.
If the only thing a charter changed would be to add an initiative and referendum process, it would give citizens a means to respond. These processes are done by petition. An initiative requires commissioners to allow people to vote on an issue that the board doesn’t want, and a referendum would allow a public vote on an unwanted ordinance that the board has passed.
The six Washington counties with charters are King, Pierce, Clallam, Whatcom, Snohomish and San Juan. All of these counties have kept their charters. Several other counties, including Clark, have tried to get charters and were met with opposition from the county power structure.