I am urging a no vote on both Propositions 1 and 2 of the Charter Review. We owe a thank you to the review commission members who considered the issues. We owe it to ourselves to vote no on Propositions 1 and 2 Charter Review.
I see no benefit in reducing the current 6-member council to 3 members. There will be no cost savings. Under the Open Public Meetings Act, any two of them are a quorum so they can never meet, exchange emails, conference call or even research a problem outside of a public meeting. The County is a $40 million dollar, complex enterprise. The best chances for creative decision-making under these draconian conditions will come from having 6 brains, 6 sets of expertise and life experiences tackling the issues. Why pay the same amount of money to get one half the level of input and expertise?
The cost of running a countywide campaign under Prop 1 is too dear a price to pay. It is estimated it will cost between $30,000 to $50,000 to campaign countywide. Currently it takes $7,000 to run in a district. That means we now elect our council for a combined campaigning cost of about $42,000. If we pass Prop 1 we will spend somewhere around $90,000 to $150,000 electing our council. Unless you consider signage an “investment” that money is forever lost to community. Does that make any sense to you?
Candidates will not go into personal debt to finance a $30,000+ campaign. They naturally will seek outside “support”. If there is one system we all loathe it is one called “the best candidate money can buy”. Passing Prop 1 means we reinvigorate the vested, special interest, political financial support game we have thus far managed to largely avoid. Do you really want to up this ante?
Finally, passing Proposition 1 would give disproportionate representation to Lopez. They have fewer people but will end up with 1/3 of the vote. One vote per major island is a flawed model. Currently we enjoy as close to the one vote per person model as we can get. We are better off for it. Vote no on Proposition 1 and 2 of the Charter Review.
Martha Farish, Co-chair with Art Lange
Vote No on Proposition 1 and 2 Charter Review Committee