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It’s a fact that the charter amendments, if passed in the upcoming election, would shorten the time to collect signatures for local initiatives, referendums, and recalls and increase the number of signatures needed for some petitions.
Think about that: With the proposed charter amendments, if we citizens don’t like the direction or a decision of council, we will have even less time now to collect an even higher number of signatures just to get something on the ballot (which then goes to a public vote anyway).
For that fact alone, these proposed amendments unquestionably limit public participation and further restrict the public’s few checks and balances allowed in the current county charter against potential or future governmental abuse.
But are these processes in need of improvement? Hardly. George Chandler’s description of the four times these processes were used in charter’s 40-plus years of existence can hardly be described as abuse. I count that as the system working.
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