County Gov't Changes: Home Rule Charter to appear on fall ballot

County Gov't Changes: Home Rule Charter to appear on fall ballot

COQUILLE, Ore.-- The Coos County Clerk says the citizens groups Americans for Responsive, Responsible, Representative Government has submitted more than enough verifiable signatures to appear on the ballot this fall.

ARRRG has been fighting to get the Home Rule Charter on the ballot for most of the summer.

According to county election documents e-mailed to KCBY, the group was required to send 1,521 signatures for verification and approval. ARRRG's number of signatures permitted was actually 160% of that total (2,495 signatures submitted).

Out of the signatures submitted, 2,034 have been verified as authentic, and 461 signatures were rejected.

Placing the Home Rule Charter before Coos County voters this fall is a large achievement for the group that said a vote on the charter should be"now or never". ARRRG sees the Home Rule Charter as the opposite of what has been placed on the ballot by Coos County Commissioners.

ARRRG has told KCBY that they submitted more than enough signatures because they wanted to make sure it made it to the ballot this fall without any doubts.

Of the 18% rejected signatures, the largest reason for signature rejection was 263 signers were not registered to vote with the county or have cancelled registration to vote in Coos County. Other reasons for signatures being rejected were duplications, triplications, illegibility, signers lived out of the district, and irregularities of information given.

The approval of the Home Rule Charter means that voters will now have a choice between which path of government Coos County should take in the future. The choices are the following:

  • Home Rule Charter- 5 full-time and full-salaried commissioners, government appointments and large budgetary items must be approved by the voters, county managers and administrator positions are illegal, the county can no longer accept money from Federal grants, a maintenance budget would be established for county projects, greatly reduce urban renewal funding in Coos County, etc.
  • County Administrator- 5 county commissioners paid with $1,000 month stipends for work expenses, Coos County's 23 government services departments would be overseen by a county administrator who serves at the pleasure of the board of commissioners, the county administrator has no authority over the Coos County District Attorney or the Coos County Sheriff. In theory, with a county administrator monitoring the county's departments, commissioners can now focus on policy and fight for funding at the state and Federal levels of government
  • Vote Both Down- Supported by Coos County Commissioner Bob Main who says the county government isn't broken and nothing needs to change. If a voter feels that county government is working properly and requires no change, then a voter has the option of voting no on both ballot ordinances