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Council News

Council places two proposed amendments to King County Charter on November ballot


Voters have final word on proposals to amend preamble to charter, streamline filing of campaign finance information


Two proposed amendments to the King County Charter were placed on the November ballot today by the Metropolitan King County Council.

If adopted by the voters, the proposed measures would:

Highlight the County’s responsibility in unincorporated areas: The proposed amendment is a modified version of a recommendation from the 2007-2008 King County Charter Review Commission, and would revise the Charter Preamble to emphasize the County’s responsibility toward the provision of services to unincorporated areas of the county (Ordinance 2010-0328).

Specifically, the amendment would:
• Recognize the County’s role as both a regional and a local government,
• Emphasize the County’s responsibility to both urban and rural areas of the county, and
• Make clear that the County’s concern extends to the county’s economy as well as its environment.

This recommendation was published in the Commission’s final report.

Streamline the filing of campaign-related finance reports: This proposed amendment would allow a political candidate to satisfy the requirement that campaign-related finance reports be filed with the county Director of Elections by filing those reports with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) (Ordinance 2009-0496).

Candidates for elective offices are already required by state law to file monthly reports of campaign receipts and expenditures with the PDC, and the PDC places the contents of those reports online, where the public can review them. If the proposed amendment is adopted, it will no longer be necessary to file those same reports with the county Director of Elections, since the information they contain will be accessible on the PDC’s website.

Every ten years, a commission of King County citizens is appointed to recommend changes to the charter, which is the basic “constitution” of King County government. The Commission proposed 12 charter amendments, but recommended placing the measures before voters in phases to avoid overloading the ballot in any one year.

This is the third straight year the Council has sent amendments to the voters.
In 2008, voters adopted 5 of the 6 charter amendments placed on the ballot. In 2009, four more charter amendments were placed on the ballot and voters adopted them all.

Charter amendments must appear on the November general election ballot.

The adopted legislation advances the Council’s priorities of Local and Regional Cooperation and Financial Stewardship.

Citizens interested in working on the committees drafting the voter pamphlet statements for or against either of the two charter amendment should contact the Clerk of the Council--206-296-1020--as soon as possible.

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