Partisans flock to home rule charter debate

first_imgBATTLE GROUND — Any thoughts that a debate about proposed changes to Clark County government would sway public opinion were quashed Tuesday night at the Battle Ground Community Center, where partisans on both sides of the issue convened to bicker.The debate, jointly sponsored by Clark County Citizens United and the Clark County Farm Forestry Association, was ostensibly for the fence-sitters. But the majority of the attendees, roughly two dozen, came with firmly entrenched beliefs. The debate was between factions in favor of and opposed to a proposed home rule charter, represented by former county Commissioner Betty Sue Morris and Sheriff Garry Lucas, and those against, represented by Tracy Wilson and state Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas. Pike, Wilson and Lucas, all Republicans, were also all freeholders, a 15-member board elected in November and tasked with drafting a new county charter. The new charter, completed in May, calls for sweeping changes to how county government would run, including the hiring of a county manager to oversee day-to-day operations and the addition of two new commissioners who, under the charter, would be called councilors. One of the new councilors would serve at-large.Although Wilson and Pike were freeholders, they voted against approving the charter. Clark County voters will have an opportunity to approve or reject it in November.last_img

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