Jackson County legislators Monday overrode a veto by County Executive Frank White of sweeping changes proposed for the county charter.
It was a six-to-three vote with the same old discussion and the same old division on the nine-member legislature.
Legislator Greg Grounds has been leading the charter change fight for a year. His argument was the same as it has been for months. He said lawmakers were not voting in favor of term limits or pay raises, two of the most contentious issues, but rather to let voters have their say. "You vote to allow it to be on the ballot," he told his colleagues.
Legislator Crystal Williams voted to sustain the veto. She agreed with White that voters may be forced to approve changes they may not agree with. For example, someone may want the sheriff to run the jail but may oppose a pay raise for him. With the current ballot language a voter has to say yes to both or no to both. "The voter gets to look at a clump of questions," Williams said.
So what happens next?
White wouldn't say whether he would sue to block the ballot questions or run a campaign against them. "It’s on the ballot as we talk right now, so we’ll just have to see what the next steps are from there.”
Grounds says he doesn't think there is an appetite for another lawsuit or a vigorous campagin. "I would be surprised given the number of issues out there that are soaking up money for other campaigns."