Home Rule? Home Rule is simply a different form of government. In 1958, a constitutional amendment authorized counties to adopt “Home Rule” charters, giving voters the power to adopt and amend their own county government organization. It’s a type of government that gives counties more say regarding what works best for their community rather than what fits other areas of Oregon.

Who wrote the charter? Everyone agrees, it was, for the most part, copied and pasted from the Clatsop County Home Rule Charter. Knowing who wrote the charter won’t change the charter. It is what it is, simply a constitutional form of government. The current form of government in Douglas County is statutory law, which means everything needs to go through the state and the Legislature.

Each charter is unique to the county it serves. “Home Rule” is simply what the term implies – voters in counties decide how to rule themselves. No two “homes” are exactly alike.

The group opposed to the charter says to “follow the money to the extreme environmentalists.” Anyone can go to the Orestar website to see the “extreme” money. There is some “extreme” money being thrown at the Home Rule Charter, but it is from the people trying to defeat it.

Doug Robertson, who is on the county payroll and has been for at least the last two years and is also being paid by the PAC created to defeat the Home Rule Charter, is going around the county spreading misinformation, half-truths or all-out lies, trying to scare people into voting against this measure. My question is “why?” This Home Rule Charter, as with all nine other Home Rule Charters, has absolutely nothing to do with timber or the timber industry. It has nothing to do with Second Amendment rights (also in the Constitution).

I am sure none of the $5,000 to $10,000 donors to the PAC to defeat the Home Rule Charter would hire a mechanic to run their multimillion/billion-dollar companies. Why shouldn’t Douglas County have a professional running our multimillion-dollar government?

The things that would change under the Douglas County Home Rule Charter: County government would go from three full-salaried-plus-medical-and-PERS commissioners to five part-time/volunteer commissioners, paid no more than $500 per month. No medical. No PERS. County would be split into five separate districts, separated evenly by voter population. Establishes one paid county administrator that would actually have an education in budget and finance, hired by and accountable to, the elected commissioners and citizens. Voter approved term limits for the commissioners. It would increase the minimum age of the sheriff from 21 to 25.

What are the people against this charter really afraid of? Where was all the time, money and effort that is going into defeating the Home Rule Charter when it came to keeping the services available to the people of Douglas County, who are paying all the taxes? Me thinks they protest too much. Extreme?

Diana Larson of Myrtle Creek is treasurer for the Douglas County Home Rule Charter Initiative PAC

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Diana Larson graduated from Douglas High School, going right onto a spreader at Roseburg Forest Products where she worked for 20 years. She completed her education at UCC in computers and finance. As a CPA she handles the finances of several small businesses including the Umpqua Valley Humane Society. She, and the rest of her family, supporting the Home Rule Charter, worked for Pappy Ford; her father, her mother, her 2 sisters....It is a LIE to call supporters of this charter EXTREME environmentalists!! We are just citizens of Douglas County who feel we are not getting the proper representation from our 3 commissioners, nor are those 3 commissioners spending our tax dollars appropriately. It is time for a change. If you find you do not like something in the charter, it can be easily changed, without any lawsuits, or gathering of signatures. It is a fluid, living document, not set in stone. What a world this would be if nobody ever accepted changes. Things would stagnate. Home Rule would have an educated financial leader at the top to guide the 5 volunteers, representing 5 districts of Douglas County of near equal population. These people can talk to each other; can work with each other; have more than the specified meetings; better able to serve the individuals of Douglas County; not serving outside interests (who are spending the most to defeat the charter). How do I have all these facts? I am Diana's mother and Brandy Stone's grandmother. I am so proud of them, and Brandy's mom, my daughter Kathy, attending meetings, holding town halls, distributing signs (which the opposition steals if we don't wire them to an immovable item), bumper stickers, literature, whatever they can do to make informed voters in the county where they were born, educated, live, and work. Kathy worked at RFP for 10 years while she studied and became an RN. None of us has ever hugged a tree nor blocked a logging road. We only want to see Douglas County move forward, as 9 other Oregon counties have, and not just stagnate under the old system of government. Thank you for reading this. Please vote YES! My girls have all worked so hard for the Home Rule Charter, suffering attacks and verbal abuse from those who wish to defeat the charter.

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