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Prosecutor addresses next steps for charter changes

County Administrator Bob Jean will become interim county manager on Nov. 27, the effective date for Proposition 2 that eliminates the county administrator position, according to County Prosecutor Randy Gaylord’s Nov. 20 presentation to the council.

Gaylord briefed the council on each of the three propositions approved by voters at the Nov. 6 election, but told the council that “no action” was needed on Proposition 1.

Proposition 1 creates the new three-member council elected countywide from a slate of candidates representing districts roughly corresponding to San Juan, Orcas and Lopez/Shaw islands. (Waldron Island is included with Orcas Island.)

“Continuity of government” is the key to implementation of the charter amendments, Gaylord said, suggesting that the current council should designate Bob Jean as interim county manager.

To that end, the Council by motion directed that a resolution be prepared stating “the interim county manager role will be identical to the role of the county administrator pro-tem where not inconsistent with the charter.”

Because the 2013 budget is in the final stages of preparation, the new budget authority of County Auditor Milene Henley won’t have much effect on the current budget cycle, but questions relating to the 2013 interactions with the auditor, delegations of authority and “who reports to whom” can be addressed by the six-member council until the three-member council is sworn in on May 13, 2013.

Addressing the “open government” provisions of Proposition 3, Gaylord emphasized that “formally created” subcommittees created by council action are covered by Proposition 3, requiring that subcommittee meetings be given public notice and be open to the public.

Discussions between two council members are therefore usually not covered, but discussions among three members would be.

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