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Thursday, February 29, 2024
Feb. 29, 2024

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Clark County Charter Review Commission picks co-chairs

Mike Dalesandro, Kim Harless tapped to lead commission

By , Columbian county government and small cities reporter

The Clark County Charter Review Commission has selected Mike Dalesandro and Kim Harless as its co-chairs.

Dalesandro, a Battle Ground city councilmember, and Harless, an environmental operations specialist with Clark County Public Health, were selected Tuesday during a commission meeting. The commission also tapped Anthony Vendetti, an emergency services coordinator for Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency, as its secretary.

The 15 commissioners were elected in November — three commissioners at large, and three from each of the four county council districts. They will review the county government’s 22-page, nearly 6-year-old guiding document.

Any recommended changes would be forwarded to the Clark County Auditor’s Office for placement on a future general election ballot.

Dalesandro, also the chair of the Clark County Democrats and a former Battle Ground mayor, said he hopes his experience with heading meetings will facilitate a “transparent,” “equitable” and “timely” process.

“I had to deal with quite a few different things, different situations,” Dalesandro said. “We need co-chairs that are going to help guide us, put some structures in place and get these meetings rolling.”

Commissioners have acknowledged the challenges of meetings with a large commission, especially in a virtual setting. While Tuesday’s meeting was scheduled to last two hours, it ended up taking nearly 3½ hours, with much of the time spent finalizing the commission’s bylaws.

“I know it’s going to be complex and strange to some as you move through this,” Vendetti said Tuesday.

At upcoming meetings, the commission will address charter nuances such as whether to make county council positions nonpartisan — and most commissioners have expressed an interest in the idea.

Other ideas raised by several commissioners include changes to the county manager position; restructuring the county Board of Health, which currently consists of the county council; implementing a new ethics review process; and creating more robust diversity and equity guidelines.

Columbian county government and small cities reporter