I have been fielding questions from my constituents about the Charter Amendment Questions that will be on the ballot on November 6, 2018. I encourage people to consider these proposed changes in the context of public policy and not personality. I will be voting “No” on these questions, as presented, for many reasons. Although I respect my colleagues who have pushed these proposals, I do not think these amendments, if adopted, are in the public interest for many substantive reasons. Here are a few for consideration:
-Should elected officials give themselves pay raises and how much will it cost tax payers?
-Should the Legislature be limiting who can run for office, generally, other than fitness for office questions?
-Should the Legislature be term limiting people like the Prosecutor and Sheriff when continuity is important in law enforcement?
-Should the Legislature keep people from other levels of government from running for County offices, but exclude themselves from this prohibition?
-Should the Legislature take powers away from the Executive branch such as taking away the Line Item Veto from the Executive?
-Should the Legislature make it easier to fire the County Counselor?
The most effective way for me to communicate with folks about the proposed amendments is to post the documents themselves as you will find below. Read the ordinance that shows the actual changes to the Charter and then compare what will actually happen to the Charter to how the questions are presented on the ballot. Well intentioned people might go into the voting booth thinking that they are doing one thing, and end up doing something completely different. You don’t have to take my word for it though. Have a look for yourself:
Legislation Text – 5102 – Click Here
As you know, the County Executive vetoed the ordinance and then the legislature overrode the veto on a 6-3 split vote. Here is the Veto Message that contains the rationale of the County Executive:
Veto Message 5102 – Click Here
Whatever the outcome of the election, I look forward to working with a broad coalition of people to undertake a Charter Review Process, perhaps beginning as soon as 2019. That said, I will still be voting “No” in November because there is too much at stake to allow these proposals to be enacted.