Enumclaw doesn’t elect its police chief

Yet, the council wants to make sure King County’s police chief remains an elected position.

Enumclaw doesn’t elect its police chief

According to a front-page story in the Aug. 19 Courier-Herald, the King County Council in November will offer voters a couple of charter amendments “that would, if passed, rock the King County Sheriff’s Office to the core.”

Under the first measure, the sheriff would no longer be elected by the people, but rather would be appointed by the county executive and confirmed by the county council. The second would give the county council more say in defining the sheriff’s duties. Enumclaw City Council members reviewed these measures and “made their views crystal clear” by rejecting both at an Aug. 10 meeting.

Said Councilman Kyle Jacobson, “I’m always in support of giving the vote to the people.” And chimed in Councilman Anthony Wright, “I don’t want the King County Council to appoint the sheriff, no way.”

These men-of-the-people ignited an ember of a question in the back of my mind. I booted my computer, found the city’s website, and perused the Enumclaw Municipal Code. There was my answer, in Section 2.76.020: “The mayor of the city shall appoint the chief of police, who shall be confirmed by the city council.”

So much for giving the vote to the people.

Me? I’m not so “crystal clear” on the county issue. I think I’ll learn more about the proposed charter amendments and try to cast an objective, educated vote in November.

Dan Berglund


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