Submitted by Chris Leyba.
The Pierce County Council introduced resolution 60 and 61 over a month ago in an effort to make the Pierce County auditor and Pierce County Sheriff appointed positions under the executive’s office. Additionally, as of yesterday they have introduced R130 and R131 to soften up the language of the other two resolutions while keeping the spirit the same. These resolutions, if passed during a vote during the upcoming July 27 council meeting, will strip away the right of the voters to choose their chief elections officer and chief law enforcement officer.
This is a heavily Tacoma influenced effort pushed by council members who live in Tacoma and Lakewood. The thing is, these two jurisdictions don’t have a real stake in the game with the Pierce County Sheriff. They have municipal law enforcement agencies with better funding. They won’t be subject to any detrimental changes to the sheriff’s office, regardless of what happens with these resolutions.
They also understand that, if these resolutions make it to the 2021 general election ballot, they will be able to rely heavily on voters in Tacoma and Lakewood who, again, have little at stake in regards to the Pierce County Sheriff. They are served by their own municipal agencies.
Finally, this effort is being spun as a way to get rid of Sheriff Ed Troyer. Based on recent news events, the focus of any yes on resolution 60 campaign will be on removing Troyer from office. The yes campaign will attempt to completely distract the voter from the fact that the county is asking you to surrender your voting rights to these positions.
Please do not fall for this. Elected sheriffs are societies best direct access to accountability for their chief law enforcement official. The reason that the council majority wants to take away your right to vote for this person, as well as your county auditor, is because they don’t think you are smart enough or qualified enough to make the decision on your own. If Pierce County has a problem with the sheriff or auditor, we have an election or recall process already in place to replace them.
Don’t let them get away with this. Voting rights are everyone’s rights. This will disproportionately affect some of our lowest income communities and take away their direct access to the way they want law enforcement and elections to be administered in their neighborhoods.
Do not let the county council strip you of your right to vote. Contact your councilman or councilwoman today and make it very clear you expect a no vote on R-60, R61, R130, and R131.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.