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Signatures still needed for vote on makeup of charter board

November 16, 2006|by TARA REILLY

A group that thinks Washington County residents should vote on the membership of a board charged with writing a county charter isn't sure whether it will have enough signatures to force a special election.

Dan Seiler of Citizens for Elected Charter Board said Wednesday the group obtained about 1,000 signatures of registered voters.

It needs 2,000 signatures for the county to hold a special election.

The Washington County Commissioners on Sept. 19 appointed nine people to serve on the charter board in an attempt to change the county's form of government from commission to charter home rule.

Registered voters were given 60 days from then to challenge the selections.

Seiler said the group was having difficulty obtaining 2,000 signatures.

A switch to charter home rule would lessen the commissioners' dependency on state legislators when creating some local laws, county officials have said.

The county would be governed according to what is written in the charter. County voters approve the charter, and have the ability to challenge some local laws by referendum.

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The county's plan is to have voters decide on approving or rejecting the charter in the November 2008 presidential election.

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