Should the charter be changed?


This column is designed to address the controversial question over changing a 16-year charter or leaving it alone? Let’s start with some history. In 2002 we voted 15 Democrats and Republicans to become the charter commission. The job was to formulate a charter so our community could become self-governing. Every participant who served not only gave massive input, but went over all 15 articles extensively and their sections. The job they did under the direction of Chairman Lynch was professional. The charter was voted on in 2003. The vote was 1,441 – Yes and 550 – No.

Since that time we have had two review boards designed to tweak, if necessary. The first review board added only one amendment and it was minor concerning nominations. The second review board didn’t fix it because it wasn’t broken. In regards to the amendments, amendments to a charter should be considered in a process that permits public comment and input, not drafted in the dark. Originally, we had a charter commission composed of local citizens. Twice we have had charter review commissions look at the current charter. All amendments to the charter in the past had the benefit of a process. This charter revision is the stated product of an individual college student. Is Mr. Page going to reimburse the taxpayers for the cost of this election?

Knowing all of this? Do we want a three-ring circus, hired by clowns, who have no idea what good government is about? Be careful what you sign up for? Let’s all hope this doesn’t come down to a vote again?

Take a good look at what we have before you sign or vote. Go to other communities our size and see how they are doing. A mayor isn’t as gratifying as you believe it to be. It’s like watching your children fight over who gets to sit in the front seat of the car.

If you want to witness good government come to a council meeting, they are the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at the City Building at 7:30 p.m. While you are there thank a council member, the city manager, or a city worker for a job done well. It will make you both feel good.

Rose Hazelbaker

60-year resident of Washington C.H.