Last year, I was a candidate for Douglas County Commissioner. It became very evident during my campaign that Douglas County no longer had the financial resources to continue as in the past. We have seen the County Health Department and the Douglas County Library System close. I respect Sheriff Hanlin and the leadership he has provided. However, I do not understand why he has allowed “vote no” signs on the proposed Charter with his picture on the signs.
The proposed Charter will not allow the county to decide what laws the Sheriff Department will or will not enforce. The duties of the Sheriff’s Department are determined by the state of Oregon. Under the proposed Home Rule Charter, the Board of County Commissioners can still hold public meetings and seek input from the citizens of Douglas County.
The Home Rule Charter will provide for five commissioners based on districts rather than three elected commissioners. Also, the county should still pursue cutting federal timber land and receive federal funds for the operation of Douglas County. I am not opposed to cutting timber and receiving from the federal government. We need to face the fact we will never receive federal funding as we did in the past.
I believe it is time to make a change in our county commissioner system and look for other ways for our county to receive critical funding needed. I plan to vote “yes” for the proposed Charter and encourage each of you to carefully study the proposal and also vote “yes.”