Can we improve our county government? Of course. That means we will make some changes. But not just any old changes.

We, the voters, are being asked to radically change our form of government and we had no say in the proposed “Home Rule” Charter. Do we know who wrote this document? No. Did they allow broad-based citizen input when writing this? No. It was done by a small group, behind closed doors.

If this charter passes, the hired county manager has all administrative powers. The volunteer county commissioners only set policy. Currently we can voice opinions to commissioners and actively participate in the decision-making and public process every Wednesday at commission meetings. Why change that?

The Home Rule proposal clearly allows a board of commissioners, with no law enforcement background, knowledge or training, to dictate what laws our sheriff should or should not enforce.This will restrict our sheriff and undermine our law enforcement agency. Why the change?

Let’s do our research and gain knowledge of what is good in our current government and what needs to be improved. Investigate, ask questions, seek expert help and opinions of people in every community. Don’t be in a rush to make the wrong changes.

Instead of tearing down something that is good and replacing it with a charter that takes away citizen input, spend the time and effort needed to build a better county government. Join me in voting "no" on the proposed Home Rule charter.

Sue Hyers


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(3) comments

Handy Barker

So, presumably, you're also against any other Executive branches of government in America, like having a Governor, Mayor, City Manager, or President? Your essay argues against what you claim: it's a conclusion--"Vote No" in search of reasons to support it. Which you don't really supply.

Our New Home Rule Charter has strengths and weaknesses. But here's the one big advantage you'll agree with: hiring one educated, qualified professional County Manager is gonna be more effective than a swirl of three Congressional commissioners, just as having one President is more effective for the US than having the Congress run everything.

The sheriff and "Extreme Environmental" scare tactics on the Red Signs are nothingburgers with cheese since you can change sheriff's accountability again with a simple ballot measure.

I would think our sheriff would like this more effective model because under our more modern republican Home Rule Charter, he doesn't have to play politician to get elected, but is appointed and can stay appointed for good, just as our generals and Presidential cabinet aren't fired by voters. Why he would've been tricked into opposing it, and whether he's actually read Our Home Rule Charter is uncertain...


*** Anyone have any idea what a 'special' county manager will be paid? I have a feeling it is going to be no less than $150,000, with about 35% bennies, so $200,000 to start. That is right at $100 an hour combined. And when you figure in holidays, sick time, vacation, that person will actually only work 10 months. Now, when this special manager is on vacation, who will make ultimate critical decisions? I guarantee those 5 district reps will be clueless as to how run a government. You think people are unhappy with 3 commissioners now, just wait until one person is running the show. And if you believe a local will be hired for the job, rethink. It will probably be someone that has never even been to Oregon. It will be a Master's degree holder in business that never worked a regular job in her/his life. The people of Douglas County are not your typical people. They still want to have jobs other than retail and we all know where those went. When I worked for the county in the 70's and 80's, I saw so much political back slapping it made me nauseous. Also, how many assistants will this manager need, 2, 3, 4? These questions and more will barely be covered before any voting happens.


Umm... Pretty sure most of our commissioners, past or present, have not had prior law enforcement experience, or criminal law education, before their election. I see local businessmen(women) with possible personal agendas. Which, in itself, is not wholely a bad thing, but I can't help wondering how many decisions are made with this bias. Caveat emptor for elected officials.

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