When best to avoid an election

With final filing results in there are 13 races in which no one expressed an interest in running. As much as it might offend your sense of public participation in democracy, this is probably a good thing.

For example, three of the races are for the Crystal Springs Water District. All three commissioner positions are available and no one has applied. What this means, assuming that continues through next Friday, is that all three positions will go to whoever is in office now.

I don’t know exactly how many customers the water district has, but it can’t be many. In 2011, according to a Washington State Auditor’s Office report, the district reported $3,840 in revenues.

Since local agencies participating in elections have to pay their share for them, a public agency taking in less than $4,000 in revenues is probably not going to be criticized by its constituents for avoiding the election completely. If someone gets tired of being commissioner, that commissioner can quit. The other two board members can go through the process of picking a new one, and then that commissioner can fail to file to run forever and still keep the job for life.

As long as everyone in the district agrees to avoid elections at all costs and because of all costs, this works out. I haven’t talked to anyone at Crystal Springs, or at the Old Bangor Water District, which also has three positions available, or the Port of Waterman, which has two spots in play. I can’t say they’re doing what I’m suggesting could be done. I am saying they probably are and that it’s probably OK with everyone who lives there. Someone can prove me wrong by filing to run.

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