IN THE RING: Yes or no on home rule?

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Roy Duncan, retired State of Oregon analyst:
“There are those among us that seek problems to be solved, even when some of us believe those problems Don’t exist. And there are some that seek an opposite opinion on issues for reasons we can’t understand. I believe they are called contrarians. I have always been a simple man. The quickest way to cross the road is to follow a chicken.

“Also, I have been around long enough, thank God, that I have seen others try to fix this non-problem before. As near as I can tell America inherited the Home Rule idea from England along with taxing or exterminating Tea Parties out of existence. (Pretending to be a Tea Party person to demean them from within appears to be an Oregon school teacher’s idea.) I was against Home Rule 20 or 30 years ago when some locals got the same bee in their bonnet.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We waste efforts when government ignores real problems, i.e., taxes too high, always new government programs while ignoring the real mandates, etc., and creates a straw man to try and justify it. Trying to solve problems that Don’t exist is a waste of time, money and other resources. There is virtually nothing HR can accomplish versus a General Law County. NO TO HOME RULE.”

David Philbrick, parks board member and retired educator:
“The proposed home rule charter makes two very important changes that will significantly improve county governance and should be supported.

“Currently with only three commissioners, two constitute a quorum and cannot meet to discuss county business unless in an open meeting. This is not good for effective county government and is expensive; to get around it paid policy advisors represent the commissioners and meet outside of open meetings. With five commissioners any two would not constitute a quorum and could meet outside of open meetings.

“Second, by electing commissioners by district, the interests and needs of the different, diverse areas of the county will consistently be better represented. Voters will have a closer relationship with the commission and a clearer point of entry, knowing who to approach first, should they have a county related issue.

“The current county commissioners have done and are doing a good job. The home rule charter is implemented in a sensitive manner that enables each of them to retain their positions.

“This is a good change for our county that will strengthen our governance now and in the future. I will be voting for it and I encourage others to do so too.

Jeanne Bond-Esser, parks board chair and retired educator:
“At some point in our Balkanization, no political unit is small enough, I suppose. But I’m voting no. I haven’t heard good enough reasons to change our present system. Nor have I heard assurances that the new system will fix what some folks feels ails it instead of just creating new dissatisfactions.”

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