COQUILLE — A group of citizens have submitted 2,701 signatures to put a measure on November's ballot that would drastically reform Coos County government.

If 1,521 of those signatures are proven valid, local voters will decide whether Coos County adopts its first home rule charter.

A charter is similar to a constitution and allows a county to change its governance rules. The proposed charter was written by a group calling itself Americans for Responsible Representative Government, which is dissatisfied with the leadership of the board of commissioners.

The charter proposes a raft of new rules, many of which local officials have criticized as well-intentioned but disastrous in practice.

$22K contributions

The group is backed by two Fairview women, Ronnie Herne and Jaye Bell, who have donated $21,704 to write and promote the charter. Last month, the pair contracted a Tualatin company to help collect signatures.

Coos County has until Wednesday, Aug. 22, to verify whether it collected enough valid signatures to put the charter on the ballot. Election staff members must determine each signee is a registered active voter and county resident.

Terri Turi, county clerk, said it is a slow, methodical process compounded by people who scribbled their details.

'We spend an extraordinary amount of time trying to decipher addresses and names," she said.

Reporter Daniel Simmons-Ritchie can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 249, or at

(6) comments


Wouldn't touch this diseased rodent with a ten foot pole.


BOJS, the article, written by a person who did not live in this country about a year ago, who now is the papers US government expert, is poorl;y written. And, JVW, your are reading the charter intent wrong. I also will be voting NO! on both. The proposed charter is frustration with amateur Messerle and Parry. Both the ordinance and charter should cost the votesr at least $400,000 more annually. Got cash?


I am voting no on both proposed measures!


So, I'm reading the list of changes to mean that a private property owner would need the permission of the Coos County Commissioners to sell his or her house. If that is correct, this is ridiculous. If it's not correct, this article needs to be rewritten to explain in more depth what it means. This is clear as mud.

Oncorhynchus means that if the county govt wanted to buy, sell, or trade a piece of property for more than 50K, it would need approval. The exception is in the instance that the county is foreclosing on a property...then no public approval is needed in order to complete the transfer.

Brazen Or Just Stupid
Brazen Or Just Stupid

This is rather misleading.

"A charter is similar to a constitution and allows a county government to change its governance rules."

It allows the county to only change the rules by a vote of the people through the election process. It prevents a few who deem it necessary to hire a CEO for the county to purchase toilet paper. Apparently commissioners are not qualified to purchase toilet paper. It looks like to me that some of the commissioners are not qualified to use toilet paper.

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