A view on Charter amendments

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The four amendments to the charter seem reasonable to me. For more than two years, they have been discussed in open meetings by the charter review committee and the county council. The charter review committee was selected by the council to represent a wide cross section of our community. Many meetings were held by the committee so the public could present and persuade.
Committee members themselves had many different viewpoints. The amendments, the product of all those meetings, were presented to the county council. After vetting the proposals with the public, the council made some modifications and decided that the amendments merited placement on the ballot.
 Not all participants in the process agreed on all the issues, but that is a feature of representative democracy — listen and then decide.
Initiative and referendum are the last resort to rectify what the public considers widely unpopular or improper council action. They should not be used by a special interest group that disagrees with a well-aired council decision.
The best way to have an impact on a board or council decision is to make your opinion or ideas known early in the process while policies are being formulated. This is a lot less work that resorting to a petition and much more effective.

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