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Jan. 29, 2023

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Kimsey and Stuart team up with bipartisan ‘Team ClarkForward’

Electeds will discuss home rule, vision for better government structure

The Columbian

Two elected officials from two different parties say they will present one direction for Clark County as it prepares to undertake a home rule charter.

Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey, a Republican, and Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart, a Democrat, announced a joint effort Tuesday called “Team ClarkForward.”

The effort will focus on what they called “a vision for a better form of government for Clark County.”

But beyond that, Kimsey isn’t talking about what to expect when he and Stuart discuss their idea at today’s meeting of the Rotary Club of Vancouver.

“I care deeply about this community, and what we are going to talk about tomorrow is a vision for this community that is a better form of government than what we currently have,” Kimsey said. “The rest, you’ll find out tomorrow.”

Kimsey called the Team ClarkForward effort a “community action committee” and said the three co-chairs of the board are Mike Gaston, former local Republican Party chair; Dan Ogden, former Democrat Party chair; and Rekah Strong, Clark County’s chief diversity and inclusion officer.

Commissioners unanimously approved the home rule process earlier this month. The next step is for voters to elect 15 freeholders in this November’s election.

At Tuesday’s public hearing, the commissioners confirmed a decision to make the positions nonpartisan.

The filing week for freeholder positions will be Aug. 4 through 9.

The county is planning to hold a July meeting on how the process will work.

The freeholders will be charged with crafting a county charter to be referred to voters. A new charter could increase the number of commissioners and give voters more rights to petition and referendum.