Wachters, anti-Wachters, and Charter Review. 
Meeting Notes recorded by Karen George, edited by Tom McClellan
 
Helen McGovern Pilant did the Invocation, with a wonderful reminder about all of the things we have to be thankful for.  Rotarians then recited the Pledge to the Flag, and the 4-Way Test. 
 
Tom McClellan introduced visitor and guest speaker Councilman Doug Richardson.  Marie Barth introduced visitor Tod Wolf – from Robi’s Camera.
 
Billingsley bunch included Hazel, and briefly Hazel’s father Ian, plus Marilee Johnson brought along Claire Faubion, so we were blessed by having two four-year-old future Rotarians.
 
Announcements
 
Future Programs:
October 21 – Bryan Christensen, on Automotive Technology
October 28 – Judi Maier, on WA State’s new Limited License Legal Technician program
November 4 – Tod Wolf, “Momma Don’t Take My Kodachrome Away”
 
Sheri Hodson passed around the donation envelope for our Christmas shopping effort in conjunction with West Pierce Fire and Rescue.  The request is for everyone to donate $100 if you are able, and the intention is to provide Christmas gives of clothing from head to toe, plus a toy or two.  Thanks for all who have paid already.  Those who have pledge: WE MUST HAVE ALL CHECKS BY DEC. 5TH.
 
There will be a combination gift-wrapping and holiday party at Carr’s on Thursday, Dec. 10th, time TBA.
 
Bonnie Boyle is organizing a Food Drive for EFN.  Starting next Wednesday, bring shelf-stable food, which EFN is running short of.  Food will be moved to Sheri’s office also so we will have two locations.  Pasta, Soup, Tuna, Baby food are welcome.  Make sure date is okay – not about to expire!!!  **Peanut Butter** But please, NO Top Ramen.  Can also write a check if you don’t have food to drop off.
 
Our club donated off $7,000 to EFN last week.  Received a letter of thanks from them.  This is part of our District Matching Grant, and is intended to support “Break Bags” for the extended holidays, so kids have food to each at home since they miss out on subsidized breakfast and lunch at school.  As part of the agreement to get that grant, our club needs to actual work on it, so Jim Hairston passed around sign-up sheets to work at EFN.   Two dates: Nov. 21 and Dec. 12, both  12:00 – 2:30 PM.
 
Polio awareness month – President Joyce played a 5-minute video to see update us.  According to video so far this year there have been no cases of polio in Nigeria!!  But there is still work to be done to prevent a resurgence. 
 
 
Fun and Fines with General Ed.
 
Birthday: Judge Grant Blinn fined $40something, plus more for leaving early to get back to “Translator Day” at court. 
 
Wachter – Marilee Johnson has resigned from Rotary, but she still has to pay up on a $5 Wachter, which General Ed so graciously reminded her of….
 
Helen McGovern Pilant got busted for a full page color spread in the paper for accepting a brand new back-up generator for EFN HQ.  PSE gave $50,000 and Clara Ladd(?) also gave $50,000 in the name of her husband Ottey(?), for EFN.  Helen donated $50 for Polio plus and Paul Harris.
 
Tom Faubion had a rat on poor Marie Barth….she has been picked on so many times….he brought in evidence that was mailed to his home!!!  SHE IS BUSTED AGAIN…..OUCH!!!!
 
Tom’s $2 rat fine got magnified to $20 due to the aggravating circumstances of standing and defending himself, at length.
 
Marie was given due opportunity to defend herself…….she tried to dodge to the bullet but didn’t do a very good job.  $60 bucks to Paul Harris – SOLD!
 
Choi Holladay – fined $20 for attempting to run a marathon in Victoria, BC, a race which Choi’s wife was able to finish – cash money WILL get you off the hook
 
 
Today’s Program
 
Tom McClellan introduced Doug Richardson for our talk today.  He talked about the upcoming election for the CHARTER REVIEW Commission, what it is/isn’t.
 
Pierce County previously made a change to a Charter county in September 1980.  Went from 3 commissioners to an elected executive and 7 council members.  At least every 10 years, there must be a charter review, and that is one of three ways that the County Charter can be amended in 3 ways.
 
1st council initiated amendment, requiring a supermajority of members
2nd charter review commission
3rd way – amendment made to charter by initiative process
 
One example of a change to the charter years ago was the introduction of Ranked Choice Voting.  It was deemed by the Council not to be a good change after some experience, so the Council voted to change it back to the traditional method of voting. 
 
For the Charter Review Commission, each of the 7 council districts elects 3 people for a total of 21 commissioners.  Those winners from the November election will meet in January 2016, and must conclude business in 6months.
 
The County provide staff support in drafting of amendments, and needs for work.  Charer Review Commissioners are not compensated, but can get reimbursement for expenses.  Suggestions will likely be made.  People will come in and visit and make suggestions.
 
The Charter is the constitution of the city.  How laws are passed and vetoed etc. also some minutia.
 
One possible change is to go from an annual to a biennial budget.  County government is tied up with budget work for weeks at a time.  One candidate in District 5 reportedly wants to pursue an amendment to the charter for a $15 minimum wage.
 
Also consideration to move elections to odd years. 
 
Doug feels a lot of people are coming at this with quite a defensive posture right now so a lot of amendments may not come out this time.
Looking forward to fall with presidential election and so many changes in gov’t and amendment and charter amendments – people will get fatigued with having so much information to go through and the vote will drop off.  
 
Also when the ballot becomes a 2 card ballot, there are lots of problems that come up with that as well.
 
Commission meets they set their schedule. They meet, and review the amendments.  They can’t change the charter on their own.  It has to be voted on by the people.  So it gets re-discussed etc. and then gets voted on at a general election.
 
Bethel school district has 55,000 registered voters and averages 4500 ballots returned – OUCH
 
Lots of consternation of redistricting and the changes that have been made and the talks of changes that they want to make.
 
Some discussion has been gone around about changing from 7 to 5 Council members as Snohomish County has done.   We need to look at the voters’ pamphlet for those running in our district and vote.
 
Questions:
Tom Faubion asked about the ballot measure for a building levy. 
Doug said not a levy.  He said it’s a referendum – if you want the building you must vote no. if you don’t you must vote yes.
 
Tom Faubion: What should we favor?
Doug: He won’t tell how to vote.  He was a no vote.  It passed 4 to 3.   He voted no because every time they talked things changed.  More money, more stories, had to build parking…….it just didn’t feel right.  It was just too fast.
 
Pros to no: will have a site that the county owns and consolidate where county gov’t is in the Puget Sound hosp. is which that building has to be torn down anyway.
 
Cons: there were other options that could have been pursued to accomplish the same thing and consolidate gov’t.  We also still own several buildings downtown.
 
Alice Peeples: Is there nothing we can do to stay in the same spot?
Doug: CCB would stay there but it would stay prosecuting attorneys’, judges, it would stay the way it is, but filled with different people.  The intention was never to just abandon the building,
 
Raffle: Marilee Johnson was the winner, although she and Claire Faubion had departed when the attention span of one of them ran out (not sure which).  Bob Lawrence pulled for her and won her $5.  So Marilee had to come to this meeting to pay an overdue $5 Wachter, and now the club owes her a $5 anti-Wachter. 
 
 
Sponsors