Letters to Editor -
Charter Review Commission
To All Candidates for the San Juan County Charter Review Commission:
I urge you not to give in to political blackmail from the Citizens' Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR), a special interest group headquartered in the Seattle area. Several if not all non-partisan candidates for the first Charter Review Commission to be elected in November recently received an email from CAPR which asked candidates to commit to support its partisan position on property rights in advance of the election in November.
Specifically CAPR asked candidates to pledge in advance of the election to "not use the power of my office to advance the regulation, loss of use, taking, or damage to any private property without just compensation to the owner having first been made." Candidates also received a not very veiled threat of a negative rating by CAPR if they do not sign the pledge and do not answer a follow-up questionnaire to CAPR's liking.
Please do not sign the pledge. Do not tie your hands before the first meeting of the new commission. While such a position on property rights may seem reasonable
to some, it is overly broad, open to interpretation, and can have unforeseen adverse effects.
Even if you are sympathetic to the pledge, be aware that the electorate expects elected candidates for non-partisan public offices such as this to take office with an open mind and to not be beholden to any special interests such as CAPR.
Before deciding whom to vote for, I urge all voters to ask the candidates from your district for the Charter Review Commission if they have signed this pledge from a
San Juan Island