ELECTION 2020: Appointed sheriff? And 6 other questions to decide in November
Should the King County Sheriff go back to being appointed rather than elected? That’s one of the proposed charter amendments going to voters this November, as announced:
With the approval of three more measures on Tuesday, the King County will now send seven county charter amendments to the November ballot for a public vote to approve or reject them. The Charter Review Commission recommended 11 amendments in its final report last year, though it wasn’t expected that all the amendments would be considered by voters in the same year.
The following amendments will now appear on the November ballot:
=Specify that inquests should be performed for deaths in the county’s jails and provide the family of the deceased with legal representation during the inquest process.
=Include subpoena power for the King County Office of Law Enforcement Oversight to aid in its investigations.
-Make the King County Sheriff an appointed rather than elected position.
-Remove the Charter impediment to the sale of county-owned property below market value for affordable housing purposes, in accordance with recent amendments to state law.
-Update the Charter to change references to “citizen” to “resident” or “public” depending on the circumstances. This change would address several references in the Charter to the concept of citizenship being necessary to access certain aspects of county government.
-Prohibit discrimination in county employment and contracting based on someone’s status as a family caregiver, military status, or status as a veteran who was honorably discharged or discharged solely as a result of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“I am pleased to give the voters the opportunity to decide on these amendments to the way our county is governed,” said Council Chair Claudia Balducci.
The seventh amendment set for a vote in the fall was not a recommendation of the Charter Review Commission, but instead was a council-proposed amendment. This amendment would allow the Council to establish the duties of the Sheriff’s Office. Those duties are currently set by the charter.
The sheriff was appointed until voters decided in 1996 to change that.
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July 25th, 2020 at 5:35 pm
Not the only unincorporated news from the council this week. The Skyway West Hill Community plan phase 1, a rewritten version of a plan rejected by the council in 2016.
The King County community planning process is also being expanded again after having been restricted to a focus primarily on land use issues after the Vashon planning process had been completed.
This will also have an effect (scope as yet unknown to this commenter) on the ongoing North Highline community planning process. Now both the Skyway phase two as well as a North Highline plan with similar additional scope will be submitted to council in 2021.