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County charter amendmended to reflect November voter choices

The Pierce County Charter has been updated on the county Web site to reflect the changes approved by voters in the November general election. The document can be viewed, printed and-or downloaded at www.piercecountywa.org/council.

The Charter Review Commission approved seven of the nine proposed amendments placed on the ballot. The following are the approved amendments and a brief description of each:

€ Changing the position of sheriff from appointed to elected with the first election to set for November 2008, which allows Sheriff Paul Pastor to continue serving during the interim.

€ Amending provisions related to performance audits, requiring that audits be conducted in accordance with government auditing standards, The County Council will make annual reports highlighting the year's audits and the reports be made available to the press and public without charge. The council will hold evening meetings regarding action plans responding to audit findings.

€ Adopting instant runoff voting (IRV) for county elected officials, except judges and prosecuting attorney.

€ Amending the time line for submission of the budget, the comprehensive planning message and the six-year plan by the county executive to the council from 75 days prior to the end of the year to 100 days prior to the end of the year.

€ Requiring the executive to make appointments to boards and commissions that require representation from specific council districts from a list of three candidates supplied by the council member representing the particular district.

€ Removing administrative power of the executive over any other elected official and his or her department regarding staff assignments or normal daily operations, except as otherwise provided in the charter.

€ Defining “eminent domain” and limiting use of that power to takings that are necessary to accomplish stated public uses and excludes its use for economic development.

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