Tag Archives: change-of-government bill

May 19: the date BI will vote on changing its government

Bainbridge Island has the green light to hold a special election on May 19 on the question of whether the city should change its government structure.

Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill Wednesday that alters state law to allow ballots on change-of-government measures to go before voters in any month. Previously, they were only allowed during November general elections.

In Bainbridge’s case, the bill allows voters to decide whether the city should do away with its elected mayor position in favor of a city manager hired by the City Council.

The bill, granted emergency status last month, was quickly passed by the state House and spent just more than a week in the Senate. Rep. Christine Rolfes and Sen. Phil Rockefeller, both Bainbridge Democrats, sponsored the bill in their respective houses.

Bainbridge City Councilwoman Debbie Vancil said Wednesday the bill would be important to all municipalities to help them govern their own affairs. She said the Legislature and the governor recognized Bainbridge Island’s immediate need for the bill and gave it an emergency status, which means it took effect the moment the governor signed it.

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