Measure W empowers voters to get more involved in our own county’s governance. It will cost the county very little since county services to be provided for the Charter process are already in the county's fixed monthly costs. The recent fiscal analysis from the CEO, Carmel Angelo, was based on unsubstantiated assumptions and worst-case scenarios. It was rushed through and published before Supervisorial review as a ploy to garner opposition based on fallacious facts and figures.
The entrenched elites who stand to lose the most are in the strongest opposition to Measure W. Most of the Charter Commission candidates have pledged to put the future charter onto a general election so it won’t cost the county extra. In addition, the rest of the CEO’s fiscal analysis is based on assumptions of the Board of Supervisors granting generous perks to the Charter Commissioners, hiring highly paid experts and consultants, paying rent for meeting spaces, and all 47,000 Mendocino voters asking for a complete copy of the charter draft delivered by mail. It was certainly in the interests of CEO Angelo, the highest paid public servant in the county, to draft a fiscal analysis of prohibitive proportions. She is included as one of the entrenched elites. Should our current government officials be too apprehensive to let the people write their own charter and participate in democracy?
Measure W is in accord with Article XI of the CA Constitution and does no more than elect charter commissioners to create a draft county charter for consideration by voters at a future election. Any expenses of the charter drafting process will be determined entirely by the Board of Supervisors. What is the cost of democracy anyway?
Published in the Mendocino Beacon, UDJ and Willits News <http://www.willitsnews.com/opinion/20160603/opinion-measure-w-responses-to-ceos-fiscal-analysis>.