A county charter opens the possibility for more than just three commissioners. The number of representatives for the county government can be changed by the temporary freeholders to something larger like five for example. More districts with a finer representation of our Skagit citizens could be designed instead of current three full-time commissioners serving districts that span large parts of the county. Smaller council districts could more closely represent the islands, agriculture, towns and cities, the foothills, and east county, ensuring that all citizens, urban and rural, can be heard.
A democracy works best when citizens have good access to elected officials. A part-time county council could meet in the evenings, allowing more citizens to attend and participate. True transparency takes place when elected officials explain their reasoning, and citizens can learn about the positions behind the decisions made.
At the foundation of democracy is a separation of the executive and legislative powers, which provides clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Currently, commissioners are responsible for both functions, and no one can be held accountable.
Under a charter government, a council can develop programs and policies, and an appointed or elected executive will implement them.
The charter can also give citizens the ability to introduce initiatives and referendums. We can call for a new program or policy, or call for repeal. And a periodic review allows us to see how well our government is working, and to fix things if needed.