Skagit County Charter Government Presentation

The presentation by Brenda Cunningham and Margery Hite will be followed by a question and answer period.

Brenda Cunningham, Mount Vernon resident for past 26 years, is a retired biologist, currently the chair of the Salal Chapter of Washington Native Plant Society.

Margery Hite's career as a government lawyer spanned the city, county and state levels. She served as both a civil prosecutor and an executive director for Snohomish County, a charter county. She is now retired to a small farm in Bow where she raises dairy sheep and makes her own cheese.

The system of county government we have now was devised in the 1800’s when the 3 commissioners’ only responsibility was to plan and build roads. The demands on our county government now are vastly more challenging and complex. Those 3 commissioners now represent over 120,000 people in Skagit, and any 2 commissioners can make all the decisions, usually without any public discussion.

A Home Rule Charter gives Skagit citizens the chance to define and implement a form of government to meet our needs in the 21st century. Voters in 7 other western Washington counties have chosen to write a Home Rule Charter. Such a government could include a larger (7-9), more representative, part time county council instead of only 3 full time politicians; an appointed county administrator with specified qualifications to match the size of the job; the power of citizen initiative and referendum; periodic citizen review of how the system is working; and built-in transparency and accountability, all for the same price we are paying now.

As even more growth in our population, and related troubles loom on the horizon, we need a responsive county government capable of meeting the challenge. Home Rule Skagit is strictly non-partisan with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents working together to chart a course for the future.

02:00 PM


Guemes Island Community Center