Charter puts focus on long-range plans
Herald and News letter by Bill Kennedy
The citizens charter to be voted on in November makes vital changes to county government. The charter is a business plan that requires fiscal responsibility and accountability to the citizens of Klamath County. The voters must approve any changes in taxation.
The citizen’s charter takes the career out of being a Klamath County Commissioner. Our charter commissioners will be tasked with vital, strategic, long-range planning. Instead of floundering with politically charged commissioners making their living on taxpayers’ dollars, a group of thoughtful leaders will assume the title “Klamath County commissioner.”
The charter commissioners have very important tasks that include hiring a professional business manager to manage daily county business along with the fine department staffs. The charter commissioners are our leaders who will hold annual strategic planning sessions. They are the leaders who will create annual, five-year and 10-year business plans. And yes, this is a full-time job.
Leadership is what this county has lacked.
For the past 12 years, we have seen opportunities vanish because of a lack of leadership. Instead of planning for the inevitable loss of timber tax revenue and federal payment instead of the timber tax, our county is ill prepared for a loss in close to 25 percent of our annual budget.
While we debate the merits of a county charter, we are about to see the largest federalization of our county by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via the Klamath River Restoration Agreement. Due to political posturing, our commissioners refuse to lead us to a better future with less federalization.
We do not need to elect a limited few “friends” to try to manage county business, we need to elect five leaders to use the charter and lead our county out of partisan politics and into a bright future where we have strategic plans and leadership.
William D. Kennedy