It only comes once a decade, and it’s drawing a large field of candidates.
The Charter Review Commission will oversee the process of refining, and possibly changing, elements of the Pierce County Charter. There are 21 people running from District 7 for three slots on the commission.
The charter is, essentially, the county’s constitution, said District 7 council member Derek Young.
“You can think of (the charter) as the county’s constitution. It sets up the way that we’re governed,” he said.
There will be three commission members per county district. With a wide field, peninsula voters will have many candidates to choose from.
“(It’s) good that a lot of people showed interest,” Young said.
In November, the top two vote-getters from the primaries will face off. Once the commission is set, it will begin considering amendments to the charter. Those amendments will come before voters next November.
Jerry Gibbs, of Let Voters Decide, said he only recently dug into the county’s charter when he was preparing to file a referendum to bring the new Pierce County General Services Building in Tacoma before voters.
“People need to know how important the charter is,” he said.
When questions arise, the county looks to the charter for guidance.
“It’s less about the issues and more about the foundations of government,” Young said.
One thing the commission may discuss, Young said, is a move to biennial budgeting. There’s also a potential discussion around the limits of spending for the county’s public works department.
The charter is vital to the Key Peninsula, which is in unincorporated Pierce County. The area depends on the county for public works, the Sheriff’s department and more.
Gig Harbor has its own city code, however, the county is still the health authority and it maintains the jail and the Superior Court.
And when it comes to representation on the council, it’s important for all of Young’s constituents.
“It tells me how to do my job,” he said.
Ballots have already been mailed out and must be dropped in a collection box or postmarked by Aug. 4.
Candidates who have filed
▪ Brian O’Neill
▪ R. Randall (Randy) Harrison
▪ Richard Samuelson
▪ Steve Victor
▪ Richard H. Wooster
▪ Will Baker
▪ Randy Boss
▪ Martha Lantz
▪ Brenda Wiest
▪ David Olson
▪ Michael Jankansish
▪ Andy Leneweaver
▪ Ron Lopp
▪ Martin (Marty) McClendon
▪ Justin Camarata
▪ Hans Kueck
▪ Todd Iverson
▪ Beckie Krantz
▪ Rodger Deskins
▪ Bruce Cook
▪ Katherine (Katie) Baird