Voters to decide on county prosecutor position

On June 22, the Pierce County Council unanimously approved advancing the question of making the Pierce County prosecutor position nonpartisan to the Nov. 2 ballot.

If approved by voters this fall, the prosecutor would still be elected but in a nonpartisan format.

“So, it is an allowable change that the county can make to its charter upon the affirmative vote of a majority of its voters,” explained Susan Long, chief counsel, regarding R2021-48.

While a few council members were either against making the office nonpartisan or were otherwise coy about their position, everyone agreed voters should have the final say.

Councilmember Amy Cruver said she would vote to approve the ordinance, not because she agreed with the possibility of a nonpartisan format for the position, but because it should go to the people.

“Sometimes as elected officials we need to set our opinions aside,” remarked Councilmember Marty Campbell in noting a legitimate question has been raised. “I think it’s incumbent on this council, then, to put that forward to the voters, and ask the voters — not make that decision for them — when a valid question has been brought forward.”

Councilmember Hans Zeiger applauded the “level of impartiality” that would be brought to the office.

Council Chair Derek Young agreed, noting a nonpolicy office like the Pierce County prosecutor tends to be nonpartisan in nature.

“It makes sense to me that we go in that direction,” he said.

In other business, the council unanimously passed a resolution confirming the appointment of Stephen Black as a new member to the Graham Advisory Commission.

An ordinance adopting the “Manual on Accommodating Utilities in existing Pierce County rights-of-way, 6th Edition,” was continued to the June 29 regular meeting of the Pierce County Council.


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