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News / Politics / Clark County Politics

Additional changes to Clark County charter up to voters

By Shari Phiel, Columbian staff writer
Published: December 11, 2021, 5:50am

Last month, voters approved six of the seven charter amendments placed on the general election ballot by the county’s Charter Review Commission. Riding high on that success, the commission now will send another six amendments to voters on the November 2022 ballot.

The proposed amendments would:

  • Authorize the county auditor to implement ranked-choice voting for county elected officials’ positions.
  • Require the county council to consult with county executive elected officials in a public meeting during the appointment process when hiring a new county manager.
  • Add a preamble section in the county charter.
  • Add a vacancy section to the charter in the event an elected county official position becomes vacant.
  • Lower the initiative and referendum signature percentage from 10 percent to 8 percent, set the signature-gathering limit at 120 days for mini-initiatives and allow the transfer of signatures from the initiative to the mini-initiative process.
  • Establish a Diversity and Inclusion Officer position and a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Commission.

While the six additional amendments will be new to voters, they were among the more than 20 amendments the commission identified early in 2021. Worried such a large number of amendments on a single ballot would overwhelm voters, the commission decided to divide them into smaller groups over several election cycles.

To review the complete texts of the resolutions, go to https://clark.wa.gov/county-manager/meetings-agendas-archives and follow the information for the Dec. 8 meeting.