The mostly Democrat contingent making up "Home Rule Skagit", which is attempting to change Skagit County from a Commissioner form of government to a Charter form of government with their November ballot measure, has gone on record advocating for a larger Skagit government. The group is also proposing to have twenty one (seven per commissioner district) "Freeholders" write a new county constitution (Charter). In fact one of the Freeholder candidates, former Skagit County Democrat Commissioner Sharon Dillon has said she is supporting a bigger government and has even spoken about curtailing open public meeting laws.
It is important to note that Home Rule Skagit has already incurred a cost of tens of thousands of dollars to the Skagit County voters. The extra money needed to print up ballots that includes 69 Freeholder candidates; additional paper, ink, postage fees, etc. for 75,000 registered voters is enormous. But this will be a drop in the bucket if their Proposition No. 1 Freeholder election ballot measure passes.
Many Skagit County residents earnestly oppose changing our county form of government and several SCRP members (including myself) are part of a non-partisan campaign called "No on Charter". No on Charter is currently working to educate the people about why a Charter form of government would not be good for Skagit County. We expect the ballot measure will fail, but if it passes we are recommending an alternative slate of good Conservative candidates who are not in favor of the Charter proposal, but would be willing to step up to help write a new County Constitution. See http://nooncharter.com.
There is a reason why in 2003 a similar Skagit County ballot measure was resoundingly defeated 71.5 % to 28.5%. Compared to other Charter governments our Skagit County Commissioner form of government has worked and is working just fine, and need not be replaced. Our County Commissioners are directly assessable to the voters in their districts and their deliberations are fully transparent. We want to help keep Skagit County sane and not bring the many problems that King, Pierce, Snohomish, Whatcom and other Charter Governments are facing to our backyard. Other reasons to keep our current Commissioner government include:
* Charter governments start out by replacing Commissioners with 5, 7 or 9 Council Members, this leads to more layers of government and a growing bureaucracy.
* More bureaucracy reduces effectiveness and readiness.
* Charter governments are more expensive and complex to run, expect your taxes to increase.
* Charter governments lose the protections of open meetings and other important transparency protections.
* Charter governments have higher costs of services associated with extra red tape; oftentimes these services tend to deteriorate over time.
* With a Charter government the voice of the rural citizen is reduced because the higher populated urban center voters take precedence.
* Charter governments make it easier for the decision makers to be isolated from the voters, further reducing accountability.
* With Charter governments a "County Executive" or "County Administrator" is part of the structure which leads to county-wide power concentrated with one person (usually with veto power).
* A County Executive / Administrator requires extra staff, also all the County Council Members each require new added staff; this just creates additional expense and more divisions of government for the taxpayer.
* Skagit County Commissioners Ron Wesen, Ken Dahlstedt and Lisa Janicki all ran unopposed in their last respective elections. Simple reason is because they have done a good job serving their constituents. Bottom line is, if it is not broke do not fix it.
Washington State has 39 counties, 32 (including Skagit County) have operated under the Commissioner form of government since our state's inception. This is another good indicator for the overall satisfaction and workability of a Commissioner government. Many of the state's larger populated counties have opted for Charter governments in search of a panacea; without exception all grew government, added expense to the taxpayer, and have out of control problems that Skagit does not need. Please vote NO on Charter and tell your friends to vote NO on Charter!
LD 40 State House Rep Candidate Michael Petrish's Town Hall in Blanchard had a standing room only crowd and was very well received. Michael's opponent, Debra Lekanof, is the Government Affairs Liaison for the Swinomish Tribal Government. The message has been made loud and clear; if elected to the State Legislature Debra would be a Surrogate Representative in Olympia for Tribal Chairman Brian Cladoosby.
This would be a travesty as it is a well known fact that the Swinomish Tribe Lobbyists and their attorneys are the source of last years "Hirst Fix" legislation that exempted Skagit County residents from access to drilling for water on their own property, resulting in massive economic losses and hardship for thousands of rural landowners.
Also of interest, according to Skagit County Dept. of Elections records, Debra Lekanof changed her residency from the 10th Legislative District to the 40th LD on April 11th, 2018 (one month prior to the election filing deadline). Of note: the Swinomish Tribe Reservation is in the 10th Legislative District.
In watching the recent Judge Kavanaugh hearings it has become painfully obvious as to how close our county is to completely losing "The Rule of Law". These proceedings serve as a dire warning, and are another important example as to how crucial it is to have as many good GOP Conservatives in office as possible, at all levels of government.
A big thank you to the over 120 people that attended last month's Dave Hayes and Norma Smith "Meet and Greet" event fundraiser at Smith and Burkland farms in Mount Vernon. Local farmers Brad and Jennifer Smith, John Roozen and Darrin Morrison were fabulous hosts. It was a very special and successful event enjoyed by all!
Also thanks to SCRP members Tina Champeaux-Wolne, Bobbi Butterworth and Kay Hall Friedrichs for helping host September "Meet and Greet" fundraisers for Keith Wagoner, Dave Hayes /Norma Smith and Michael Petrish.
Through the November 6th General Election the SCRP is assisting campaigns with phone banking, door belling and sign waving. We need more good Republicans in office and it is imperative that we work to get the vote out for our Conservative candidates. Specifically we are focusing on helping Legislative District 10 State Representatives Norma Smith and Dave Hayes, LD 39 Senator Keith Wagoner, LD 40 State House Representative Candidate Michael Petrish, State Court of Appeals Judge Candidate Tom Seguine and US Senate Candidate Susan Hutchison. If you or someone you know has any spare time to volunteer for these or other good conservative candidates over this next critically important 30 day period or if you would like to pick up some campaign lierature or yard signs please stop by or call our office at (360) 424-9792.
Respect & Blessings,
Bill Bruch, SCRP Chairman