King County Council places two amendments on November ballot

The King County Council placed two proposed amendments to the King County Charter were place on the November ballot today. The council acting upon a recommendation from a citizen commission that met last year.

One of the proposed measures would remove budget allotments language. It would delete Charter Section 475, which mandates that the county executive provide estimates, or allotments, of what each county agency will spend each quarter.

This process was used in the past when budgeting and accounting was primarily done on paper without the use of automated systems.

The Financial Policies Advisory Task Force, a panel created by the council to review the financial and debt policies of King County, recommended to the County’s Charter Review Commission that the allotment language be removed.

The second measure would clarify the selection process of the members of the Charter Review Commission by making them subject to council confirmation. It would also require the county council to publicly discuss each recommendation made by the Charter Review Commission and how the Council will proceed with these recommendations (Ordinance 2009-0348).

The adopted amendments were recommended by the King County Charter Review Commission last year. These recommendations were published in the Commission’s final report, which can be found at

Every 10 years a commission of King County citizens is appointed to recommend changes to the charter, which is the basic “constitution” of county government. The Commission proposed 12 charter amendments, but recommended placing the measures before voters in phases to avoid overloading the ballot in any one year. The council placed six charter amendments on the November 2008 ballot, of which voters approved five. Charter amendments must appear on the November general election ballot.

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