County Gov't Changes: Group says "now or never" for Home Rule Charter

County Gov't Changes: Group says "now or never" for Home Rule Charter
COQUILLE, Ore.-- One groups that calls itself the sensible alternative to voting for a county administrator says it is now or never when it comes to getting their proposed reforms on the ballot this fall.

Americans for Responsive, Responsible Representative Government, or ARRRG, are pushing for the Home Rule Charter to be on the ballot this fall.

The charter would put large county monetary transactions and government appointments up for a vote in addition to banning the practice of the county accepting grant money.

ARRRG is in the process of trying to get the Home Rule Charter on the ballot, but the group says they are running out of time and want people know that it is now or never when it comes to voting for these changes.

"Because it is an initiative we actually have two years to get enough signatures of put it before the people, but we believe that if we don't do it now there are going to be so many drastic changes in the county that we may not be able to change it in a year or two," said Rob Taylor, ARRRG spokesman.

ARRRG sees it self at the opposite of the reforms being offered by Coos County Commissioners Cam Parry and Fred Messerle which would increase the number of commissioners to five, and it would create the position of county administrator to over see all 23 of the counties departments.

Among on the provisions in the Home Rule Charter is a clause that prohibits Coos County from ever establishing the position of county administrator or county manager.

"They are trying to put a bureaucrat between the commissioners and the people," Ronnie Herne said at a public meeting over the charter that took place Tuesday night in Coquille.

ARRRG told people who attended their two meetings about the Home Rule Charter that not all of them agreed over all of the provisions inside the charter, but the charter, if it becomes law, can be amended.

"The founding fathers started off with the Articles of Confederation," said John Shank, ARRRG Home Rule Charter public panel member. "They didn't like the Articles of Confederation, so they passed the Constitution, and what did they do the minute after they passed the Constitution? They amended it, and that's what we want to do. But we have to get it on the ballot first."

ARRRG is trying to collect enough signatures by August 1st to get the Home Rule Charter on the ballot, but the group admits they have until August 8th.