Change of Government Letter to Port o’ Call Editor by Eloise Kailin M.D.—Our Water Our Choice Chair

From: Eloise Kailin M.D., Chair Our Water Our Choice PAC

A petition to City of Port Angeles for Change of Government , signed by over a thousand registered voters, and certified by County Auditor has been waiting since last May for the City Attorney to issue its ballot title.

This petition which gives voters more voice in City governance would change our present form of city government to its previous, more spending restricted form—no doubt a reason city staff dislikes it. It was necessitated because 4 of 7 City Councilpersons in December, 2015 refused to follow a 57% NO Fluoridation vote of all city drinking water customers. The Fluoride Four declared they trusted health officials, one said that parents were incapable of making the right choices for their children’s dental health, and besides city council was elected to make this medical choice for them. So they voted to continue fluoridation for another ten years. The resulting uproar led to a moratorium on fluoridation. Another citizen vote on fluoridation is to be held November of 2017. Will we ever get to vote on the petition?

Reversion of city government to its more conservative form is a democratic choice granted by the state legislature to its citizens. After approval in a general election this change requires re-election of the entire city council: The present City Council is questioning this provision which we think is frivilous since this practice is spelled out in state law and was followed by Sequim when that government was changed.

On Nov. 5, 2013 The City of Port Orchard voted in a general election on a change from the old form of government (RCW 35) to the newer one (RCW 35A) which we have in PA. Result: A SMASHING DEFEAT over 68% NAY to our current form in PA.

Why such a strong response? See Voter pamphlet, “Rebuttal to the Argument For” : “This measure promotes a much larger government, reduces accountability to the people and further isolates citizens from our elected officials.”

If passed by PA,one of the citizen benefits is that ALL committee meetings must have provision for public comment, of which the most important is probably the Utility Committee in PA, which entirely lacks such provision.
We look forward to a ballot title proposal.