When changes to our County Charter are proposed, I usually look at such proposals with a somewhat jaundiced eye. Our Charter, after all, has served us well, with only minor changes, for nearly 45 years. This is true for the most part. But, after so many years we start to see what works and what does not.
For many years the initiative, referendum, and recall provisions of the Charter have lacked clarity and, at times, inhibited the community’s effort to proceed with needed improvements. The proposed changes rectify those shortcomings.
The grouping of the Charter questions makes sense. Each of the four provisions, if passed individually, can stand on its own. Furthermore, the proposed ninety-day provision for collecting signatures is a reasonable balance between adequate time to collect signatures versus limiting the use of the initiative, referendum, and recall provisions as a mere obstructionist tactic.