Is Port Orchard a “second-class city?” It is according to the state of Washington (Title 35 RCW).
Fortunately, in the general election this fall, Port Orchard residents will have the opportunity to change that designation to “non-charter code city.
”Why would we want to change (other than to shed the stigma of being second class)? Well actually, the designation is not a judgmental assessment of the city at all.
What the designation does is to define the laws under which the city and its residents are governed.
Does it matter? Yes it does! Today, the city has only those powers expressly permitted by the state legislature. With this change, the city would have broader authority over matters of local concern unless specifically prohibited by the state.
This would provide our city leaders more flexibility to manage effectively and to lead our city forward.
The city would also be able to grant its citizens the power of initiative and referendum, which we do not have today.
This would enable the public to directly influence the actions of our city government.It is noteworthy that 199 cities in the state of Washington are eligible to be a code city; 190 have chosen to do so, and none have chosen to revert back. Port Orchard is long overdue.
I look forward to correcting that in November.
R. A. Ziglar | Port Orchard