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.
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 email@example.com.