The local government study commission has been hosting community meetings over the past few weeks. They have so far been in Corvallis where they reportedly had a low turnout, as well as in Victor and Darby.
Most people assume that the biggest change they’ll put before the voters is the move from 5 commissioners back to 3. The decade long experiment will likely come to an end as most Bitterrooters appear to prefer a 3-member commission to the current 5-member board.
There are plenty of other options to look at though that could have a substantial impact on county government.
One option is to make some or even all county elected positions non-partisan. That would effectively elimnate parties in the county and force voters to spend a little more time learning about candidates. At least that would be the goal.
Another option is to look at whether to have commissioner seats voted on by district or continue to vote on them at large.
The commission can look at these items and many more. They’ll make decisions and put them on the ballot for the voters to decide. The biggest thing the group needs right now is to hear from valley residents what they think is important to look at and put on the ballot.
The next meeting is Tuesday, April 7 in Hamilton at 7 p.m. They’ll be meeting in the County Commissioners Meeting Room at the County Administration Building. This is a community meeting so the public is invited to come and share their thoughts.
This is the best chance to make a real change in county government and hopefully people will participate as much as possible.