Charter will lead county down dangerous path

I have never thought that most people who are supporting the Home Rule Charter proposal are unscrupulous, or that they might have anything but the best intentions. I just think that they’re being led down a dangerous path.

Those with whom I’ve discussed the proposed charter seem to believe that it is totally benign. They say, “What the heck? It sounds harmless enough. Maybe it’s worth a try.” To those good people, I say, it’s a “pig in a poke.” It is not at all benign. It may in fact turn out to be much more destructive and disruptive to our county than any of us imagine today. So I say, it’s simply not worth the risk.

I see no guarantees that we’ll have greater access, representation or any savings at all. In fact, it appears that we’ll have less access and representation, and we’ll spend more.

The proposed charter was developed without public input or discussion, which concerns me greatly. Because it takes power from the commissioners elected by the people and gives it to an appointed manager, it blurs the line of authority between the departments responsible for public service and the public itself.

This proposed charter will do nothing to address the challenges and issues facing Douglas County, and in fact will ultimately reduce our county’s influence and leadership on the most important issues we face. It appears to be a “solution in search of a problem.” Please join me in voting “no” on the proposed county charter.

Something fishy behind charter misstatements?

When I read why I should vote against this proposed Home Rule measure (10-159), my head exploded. Its opponents say this is a plot hatched by “extreme environmentalists” who would abolish our gun rights, that only the state government could appoint these new commissioners who would have unbridled power, undermine this county’s conservative values, and the sheriff wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. (Does this about sum it up?)

I was furious! I almost got up, hopping up and down like a madman. I wanted to find the proponents’ secret lair and really give them what for. I then wanted to go to the courthouse and do the same thing with them for putting it on the ballot to begin with.

But (after cleaning up the mess my exploded head made), I sat back down (I’m very lazy), went online and read this measure word for word — and found nothing to support “rights being taken away.”

What I did find does concern me, though. As someone who volunteers for a lot, I’m not sure putting all the headaches and responsibilities our current paid commissioners have onto the shoulders of five part-time volunteer commissioners meeting only twice a month is a good idea. This is a full-time job where the commissioners make unpopular decisions as part of the job. Would five volunteer commissioners be really ready for all of this?

The sheriff says that the new commissioners would decide what laws he would or would not enforce and to what extent.

To be fair, the measure does allude to this, but as our current commissioners make and repeal county ordinances, isn’t this already so?

So why all the deliberate misstatements and big money against it? Are they straightforward or is something fishy? Fearful?

I love conspiracies.

Lee Paterson


Robert O’Brien


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