Charter Review Commission to hold public hearing June 22 on proposed amendments

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SnoCo logoThe 2016 Snohomish County Charter Review Commission will hold a public hearing Wednesday, June 22 on 12 proposals to amend the Snohomish County Charter. The hearing will be at 6 p.m. in the Snohomish County Council Chambers in Everett.

“We believe it is important to hear from the public about the structure of their government,” said Charter Review Commission Chair Jennifer Gregerson.

The 12 proposals to be presented at the public hearing are:

1) enlarging the county council from five to seven members;

2) changing the date of county elections to even-numbered years;

3) adding an office of public advocate to the Charter;

4) revising the county redistricting process;

5) revising procedures for appointment and confirmation of chief executive officers;

6) amending the deadline for executive presentation of proposed budgets;

7) revising the nondiscrimination language and eliminating gender-specific terms in the Charter;

8) adding a human rights commission to the Charter;

9) adding a Paine Field airport commission to the Charter;

10) modifying the procedure of land use appeals from the hearing examiner;

11) making the county prosecutor a nonpartisan office; and

12) requiring evening council meetings outside the county seat and evening meetings for certain public hearings.

The commission anticipates taking action on Wednesday, June 29 on whether to recommend changes to the County Charter that will appear on the November 2016 ballot. The commission will also receive public comment during the meeting on these proposals.

From January through April, the commission received 42 proposals from the public to amend the charter. Each proposal that will be presented at the public hearing received at least eight votes from commission members.

Snohomish County is one of seven charter counties in Washington State. The Snohomish County Charter was adopted in 1980 and amended in 1986, and is amended every 10 years after that.

In the November 2015 General Election, the voters of Snohomish County elected a 15- member Charter Review Commission tasked with reviewing the Snohomish County Charter to determine its adequacy and suitability of the needs of the county. The Charter Review Commission members serve an unpaid one-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2016.

Final recommendations will be transmitted to the Snohomish County Council and then submitted to the County Auditor by Aug. 2, 2016, to be placed on the November 2016 general election ballot.

The Snohomish County Council Chambers are located on the 8th floor of the County Administration Building, 3000 Rockefeller Ave., Everett.

More information about the Charter Review Commission and full text of the proposals can be found here.

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