Clark County residents now may be ready to adopt a home rule charter. The recent response from citizens to complex and volatile issues — Don Benton’s questionable appointment and debate over the Columbia River Crossing — indicate a growing desire for more control over county government and a more direct and independent voice in local issues.
With home rule, we could, for example, form a government that is nonpartisan, and more representative of the views and philosophies of all citizens than the current restriction to Republican and Democrat party lines.
If three commissioners are not enough to insure democracy, we could increase the size of the elected body. The elected commissions of the current six home rule counties in Washington state range in size from three (Clallam) to nine (King).
We could specify which county offices are elected or appointed.
We would have our own powers of initiative and referendum.
Most importantly, Clark County is much more than a bedroom community of Portland, and too unique to be governed by the one-size-fits-all county charter provisions in the Washington state Constitution. Let’s establish ourselves as empowered, independent citizens who will fight to protect our way of life by first ruling ourselves. It’s time for home rule.