I am a chief petitioner for Measure 10-159, the proposed Home Rule Charter for Douglas County. This home rule charter is a necessary plan B, as we near the end of the county’s contingency funding.
The proposed home rule charter is a well thought out document, it wasn’t crafted overnight, and its core provisions are working in other counties. It has been operationally and legally tested. The status quo opposes the Charter and have inundated our community with lies and innuendo creating false fears. The truth is the Charter proposes five major changes to the form of governance for our communities: 1. Eliminates six-figure annual salary and benefit package for each commissioner and instead offers a monthly $500 stipend. 2. Increases commissioners from three elected at-large with no accountability to five commissioners who are elected by geographic District. 3. Creates a professional county manager position to guide policymakers. 4. Voter approved term limits are implemented 5. Increases minimum age for elected sheriff from 21 to 25. The security of our community and funding public safety operations are a high priority for us; As a chief proponent and gun owner, I can assure you the Home Rule Charter does not threaten Second Amendment rights. Virtually every local government entity in the county has a volunteer elected board or council, some receive a stipend and others are volunteer, most have a professional manager at the helm to implement board policies and manage the organization. Douglas County is the anomaly.
A home rule charter allows the citizens to craft a local government that best serves its interests now and in the future. Reedsport will now have a voice at the table through district representation. We look at it this way, would you ask a history teacher or insurance adjuster to perform hip replacement surgery on your grandmother? Would Roseburg Forest Products or Umpqua Bank hire an equipment mechanic to manage and direct their assets and operations? Probably not. Yet that is precisely what we are asking our elected policymakers to do, manage a multi-million-dollar government agency without proper qualifications, prior experience or training. We encourage you to review the proposed home rule charter and draw your own conclusions. We view it as an opportunity for renewal.
For now, you can find more information and ask questions on our Facebook Page: Home Rule Charter — Douglas County Oregon or our website: www.douglascountyhomerule.com.