“A Home Rule Charter really is almost a canvas on which the citizens have an opportunity to paint the type of government they want.”
Eric Johnson, executive director of the Washington State Association of Counties
Yakima Herald, April 6, 2011
Best Government for the People
A Yes vote on Prop 1 or Home Rule allows us have a say in how our government should function. It will start a two-year process through which voters can exercise their constitutional right to review our county government and create a system, through the drafting of a Home Rule Charter, that best works for us.
It’s Time to Review County Government
Our current structure is a default form of government created by the State Legislature over 100 years ago. Since then, Yakima County’s population has grown five times larger! Business and population needs have changed significantly. We need to examine whether the current system can be adapted to modern needs.
Under the current system, three commissioners hold all legislative AND executive powers. Commissioners oversee hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and make decisions that affect all our lives – whether our community will have a pool or a park, whether the police will be available when we need them, and where jails will be built. That’s a lot of power for just three people.
With a county twice the size of Delaware and half the population of Wyoming, we need to take a good hard look at our outdated county government and decide if it isn’t time for a change. Good people can’t beat a bad system.
Home Rule Lets the People Decide
Home Rule is a process by, of, and for the people. Yakima voters control every step.
Earlier this year over 9,700 Yakima voters agreed it was time to review county government and signed a petition. On the November ballot, voters will get a chance to vote for Prop 1 and elect freeholders to carry the process forward. The five freeholders elected from each of the three commissioner districts will meet after the election to start the process. Their task will be to examine all options and choose the best form of government that serves our needs. They may decide to keep the current commission system or to draft a “Home Rule” charter, which is like a constitution for county government. If a new charter is drafted, we will then get to vote between the new charter and the current government structure.
Let us create a government that is truly by, of, and for the people of Yakima County.
Vote Yes on Home Rule!
Learn more about the Freeholders by visiting their profiles on the Yakima Herald.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to learn more about Home Rule? Visit this Wikipedia page.