Citizens For Better Government propose home rule alternative

ASOTIN COUNTY, WA - Citizens for Better Government is working to consolidate governments in the area.

Following closely on the heels of Respect Asotin County and the progress they've made on Proposition Number One, comes another group of citizens who also want government reform. The newly-formed group, Citizens for Better Government isn't wasting any time on getting petitions signed for a home rule charter of their own that they think is better for the long-term future of the county as a whole.

"If we get to the point of redoing the charter, I think we re-do the charter, we reform the whole government," said Clarkston attorney Scott Broyles.

The only difference is C.B.G., formed by Broyles, wants to consolidate all three local entities - which includes the Asotin County Commissioners, the Asotin City Council and the Clarkston City Council. His idea is to create a panel of five to seven county councilors, with a Mayor or county executive that oversees the governing body of the combined county government. Broyles said Respect Asotin County paved the way for reform but he doesn't completely agree with their idea of creating a charter, or set of guidelines, for only the Asotin County Commissioners.

"I have some real serious Constitutional issues with what I've seen come out of them and their proposal," said Broyles.

Some members of Respect Asotin County said the timing of Citizens for Better Government forming is suspicious and that Broyles is trying to sabotage the progress of R.A.C.'s proposition. Those independent of the two organizations also question the ability of the two different-minded groups to work together to create a Home Rule charter, should Proposition One get passed.

"If somebody is a freeholder that is elected and tries to not get that process done..." said Asotin County resident Richard Eggleston.

"I think you're making assumptions that are extremely ill founded or somebody else is," said Broyles in response to Eggleston.

Broyles said they're trying to get signatures now because they only need 690 signatures. If they wait until after Presidential election is over, the amount of signatures will likely increase substantially to a figure that's reflective of voter turnout. So moving swiftly enables the Citizens for Better Government group to collect a smaller number of petition signatures to get their proposition on the ballot next year.

Should members of Citizens for Better Government collect enough signatures they will then have to get approval from the Asotin County Commission to place the measure on the 2013 ballot.