The proposed Home Rule Charter to be voted on next month would be a disaster for our county. Promoted as a way to solve our county’s financial problems by saving money, this is the same rationale successfully touted to us some 30 years ago that tourism would replace reduced revenues from timber harvests on federal lands.
We all know how that turned out. Our county’s economic problems will only be solved by using the God-given resources within Douglas County, which are 50 percent Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service federal ownership. The revenue the county received from these harvests had supported all county services before, and it can again.
Our commissioners are very experienced and committed to keep urging federal Department of Interior officials to bring management back into these lands and the revenue associated cost share back into the county bank accounts. Our elected county commissioners, along with counsel from longtime federal lands expert and past county Commissioner Doug Robertson, and others, have a huge opportunity with our current administration to finally have the attention of these federal officials who are hearing common-sense management proposals including salvage and fuel management following this past devastating fire season.
If the Home Rule Charter passes, elected Commissioner Chris Boice will be forced to step down and a quorum of appointees will then be made by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown. Sheriff John Hanlin, our stellar sheriff, is publicly opposed to this charter. Section 4-B(1) in the charter states: “The Sheriff of Douglas County shall be responsible for the enforcement of State law and County ordinances, except as determined otherwise by the Board.” This alone is enough to convince me to vote no on this charter along with other issues the charter raises.
I have not seen how this ballot measure is worded but don’t be deceived, it’s a bad deal. Stop Liberal/environmentalist takeover of our county and vote no on the proposed Home Rule Charter.