Home Rule Charter takes center stage at debate in Clarkston

CLARKSTON, WA - Those seeking office for local positions got a chance on Saturday to show voters what issues they stand for.

Candidates got to debate in a front of a full house at the Clarkston City Council Chambers. Many different representatives got a chance to introduce themselves to voters, including freeholders running for office. Those elected would help draft a set of guidelines for the county, also known as a charter, in the case that Proposition-1 passes this November.

"I feel it will be a strong asset for the citizens and for the county as well," said freeholder candidate Tom Sattler.

Much anticipated, were the County Commissioner candidate debates. Incumbent Brian Shinn, who states a no party preference, and Mark Wood who identifies with the Republican Party both went first. They both spoke about why they would be the best to serve in the position of District 1 Commissioner, then answered questions from the audience. The possibility of the potential Home Rule Charter was at the forefront of the debate.

"If the people put that in place, then I will do my best if I'm elected again to make that happen," said Shinn. "But I don't think that we need it."

Wood on the other hand fully supports the work of Respect Asotin County, the group that got Proposition-1 on the Ballot.

"We need some management in this town," said Wood. "We need a charter for this town telling people what they need to be doing and what their goal is."

Republican District 2 Commissioner candidate Richard "Doc" Eggleston, Wood's running mate, mirrored his thoughts.

"I've been a supporter of home rule," said Eggleston. "We need initiative rights, referendum rights. I don't think the commissioners, a commission, should have a right to prevent any initiative being on the ballot."

Democratic District 2 Commissioner candidate Jim Fuller, a former commissioner who held office from 1992 until 2000, said it would slow down efficiency.

"It's like tripling the size of the Lewiston City Council and saying that it's going to be effective and quick," said Fuller. "I know you don't agree with me on this and that's fine because you're not going to agree with everybody all the time."

County Commissioners serve four-year terms, and alternate election years to allow for continuity. Commissioner Jim Jeffords of District 3 is the alternate commissioner this year.

The general election will take place November 6th.