San Juan County Council will discuss a draft ordinance that contains two propositions changing the number of council members to five, cutting the salaries in half and changing to district instead of county-wide elections. The discussion is set for at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 26.
If approved by the county council, the two propositions would appear on the November 2013 general election ballot.
Proposition No. 1: Shall the county Charter be amended to increase the county Council from three members, each residing in a separate Residency District and nominated countywide to five members, each residing in a separate Residency District and nominated and elected county-wide.
Proposition No. 2: Shall the county Charter be further amended to change the method of election for the five members (conditional upon the approval of Proposition No. 1) to be elected by voters from within their district rather than countywide, and shall Charter references to "Residency Districts" other than in an historical context be changed to "Districts".
The proposed districts are:
District 1: South San Juan comprised of:
Precincts 102 (Friday Harbor South)
Precinct 11 San Juan East
Precinct 12 San Juan South West
Precinct 13 San Juan Central
Precinct 17 Turn Point
District 2: North San Juan comprised of:
Precinct 101 (Friday Harbor North)
Precinct 14 San Juan West
Precinct 15 San Juan North
Precinct 16 San Juan East
District 3: West Orcas comprised of:
Precinct 21 Waldron and Outer Islands
Precinct 22 Orcas West
Precinct 23 Orcas Central
District 4: East Orcas comprised of:
Precinct 24 (Eastsound)
Precinct 25 Orcas East
Precinct 26 Blakely and Outer Islands
District 5: Lopez/Shaw comprised of:
Precinct 31 - Lopez North
Precinct 32 Lopez South
Precinct 33 Decatur and Outer Islands
Precinct 41 Shaw Island
If voters approve the propositions, the procedure to elect the council members would be:
Proposed five member council terms:
District 1 - Elected in April 23, 2013. Term ends December 31, 2016.
District 2 - Elected in Special Election April 2014
District 3 or 4 - Elected in April 23, 2013. Term ends December 31, 2016.*
District 3 or 4 - Elected in Special Election April 2014*
District 5 - Elected April 23, 2013. Term ends December 31, 2014.
* Note whether it is District 3 or 4 depends on which part of Orcas Island the winner of the April 23, 2013 election resides in. On San Juan Island both candidates in the April 23, 2013 election live in District 1.
In other words, either Bob Jarman or Lovel Pratt on San Juan Island and either Lisa Byers or Rick Hughes (Orcas Island) would serve until December 31, 2016. And either Jamie Stephens or Brian McClerran would serve until December 31, 2014.
After the initial change, each term would be four years and election would take place in the appropriate general election.
Salaries would be set for the new council positions from District 2 and either 3 or 4 would be $37,465 which is half the salary of those who will be elected in April 23, 2013. Prior to the filing period for candidates running for the four-year terms scheduled to begin January 1, 2015, the Salary Commission will set new five-member Council salaries.
The March 26 discussion will be the “first touch” for the ordinance which would to place the issues on the ballot. If it moves forward, Council rules call for two additional opportunities for discussion, including a public hearing, before it could be adopted.
Copies of the proposed Charter changes and the proposed ordinance: