Council Legislation

Proposed Ordinance No. 2021-61

Title: An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Proposing Amendments to Section 3.70, "Sheriff," and Section 4.90, "Limitation on Terms of Office," of the Pierce County Charter to Make the Sheriff an Appointive Executive Department; Requesting the Auditor to Submit these Amendments to the Voters at the November 2021 General Election; and Requesting the Prosecuting Attorney to Draft an Appropriate Ballot Title.

Status: Defeated

Sponsors: Councilmembers Derek Young, Jani Hitchen, Ryan Mello

Final votes

July 27, 2021
Nay Nay Nay Aye Aye Aye Aye

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Public Comments

Name Date Comment
Paula Rice 7/7/21 3:30 PM We the people of Pierce County deserve the right to vote in Sheriff of our county. This is yet another attempt to remove the control of voters and make have the control made by a handful of individuals instead of by the constituents of the county. It is clear that the appointments are typically made along "party lines" and that is unacceptable. This ordinance should not be moved out of Committee. In my opinion this is a terrible idea.
Joseph Chiasson 7/26/21 6:33 PM I oppose this legislation wholeheartedly. Sheriff especially need to remain an elected position. We've gone through some crazy times in the last year or so, and a significant part of the state's population has very legitimate concerns about government overreach, at both the State and Federal level. The Biden administration is talking about major 2A violations, and our sheriffs in WA recently signed a letter pledging to be a 2A sanctuary, essentially. Unsurprisingly, this proposed ordinance, to take away the right of the people to vote in their own sheriff, was proposed at roughly the same time as that pledge became public knowledge. And the part about this that is so incredibly hypocritical is that this is being proposed by three liberal/progressive councilmembers. The left has been screaming all year that any legislation designed to tighten voter security to prevent election fraud is an assault on our democracy because EVERY VOTE COUNTS, and yet they're proposing an ordinance to remove the ability of their constituents to vote for these positions. We see the power grab that is being attempted, and it is unacceptable. You're just trying to remove the ability of the people to vote in a sheriff that will not enforce your unconstitutional laws and mandates. The country is polarized and rapidly destabilizing, and stuff like this is not helping. You are creating a situation in which the government will lose the consent of the governed.
Matthew Poole 7/26/21 8:20 PM The Sheriff needs to be elected by the people. They are a balance to a counties power and best represent the whole. I urge all members to oppose this.
Art Rausch 7/27/21 3:19 AM Do not let the county council strip us of our right to vote. Let me make this very clear: I expect a NO vote on R-60, R61, R130, and R131. Keep the Pierce County auditor and Pierce County Sheriff elected positions.
Jenelle Ashmore 7/27/21 10:17 AM Article IX, Section I of the US Constitution says that sheriffs "shall be elected by the qualified voters of their respective counties for a term of four years and shall have such qualifications, powers and duties as provided by general law. "Our constitution specifies that sheriffs should be elected by their districts, and making it to be an appointed position directly goes against that. I object to this proposal and anyone who supports our democracy should, too. This should not even be on the table.
Susan Barr 7/27/21 11:57 AM The Sheriff should remain accountable to the people and to the Constitution, NOT to a political bureaucrat. We've seen the resulting lawlessness in Seattle and King County from politicizing law enforcement by leftist administrations and don't need to see those results in Pierce County. We must insulate law enforcement so they can focus on the law and Constitution only.