PROS and CONS Charter Amendments

Proposition 1:

For:

This amendment brings representation closer to the people. It will force the county government to be more responsive to the local community rather than outside interests.

Against:

This is district only voting; the voters overturned this process seven years ago because it “rigs the system against our communities”.

 

Proposition 2:

For:

When the voters clearly support an amendment with a 2/3rds majority vote the Council should not be able change it on their whim. This amendment will only allow the County Council to change it with a 7/0 vote.

Against:

This proposition limits the county council’s ability to make amendments to the charter and goes above a super majority to require unanimous agreement among the council.

 

Proposition 3:

For:

We believe that it is a conflict of interest for the County Council to be able to easily change the way they are elected. The County Council can only change this section with a 7/0 vote.

Against:

(same argument as Prop 2 with virtually no change) This proposition limits the county council’s ability to make amendments to the charter and goes above a super majority to require unanimous agreement among the council.

Proposition 4:

For:

This amendment will help voters to easily understand what they are voting on.

Against:

None

Proposition 5:

For:

We want to make it easier to bring issues before the voters.

Against:

“Letting 8% of the population decide what we should vote on is undemocratic”

 

Proposition 6:

For:

We want to make it easier to bring charter amendments before the voters.

Against:

None

Proposition 7:

For:

Term limits help break any cycle of corruption and special interests. They bring diversity of people and fresh ideas.

Against:

“Term limits for the County Executive and Council is a solution looking for a problem.” Elections are a sufficient means of limiting the power of officials.

Proposition 8:

For:

“Our Charter allows for only four members of the Committee, with “two from each major political party”. So, by this wording alone, all other parties have no chance to sit around this important table. Is this fair?”

Against:

Adding complexity to government is never a good idea. Instead of having 2 representatives from the top two political parties and one additional member, this amendment adds up to 2 more members and greatly complicates the process.

Proposition 9:

For:

“The old system is outdated. Three districts worked in the 1970s, similar counties have anywhere from 5 to 9 districts.”

Against:

Currently voters choose who will represent them every two years. Under five districts this will happen only once every four years. Five districts is less representation and more political gerrymandering. This amendment may change how the Port of Bellingham and Charter review commissioners are elected

Proposition 10:

For:

A 2/3 vote is the same as is required to amend the state and federal constitutions. In the recent charter review process “All of the controversial Charter Commission amendments on your ballot passed with a narrow, partisan majority.”

Against:

If passed, this proposition would overrule propositions 2 and 3. The Charter Review Commission’s purpose is to make changes to the Charter. The County Council’s primary purpose is to legislate.   They are two very different purposes and should not be held to the same standard for changing the charter.