Pierce County Council Chair Dan Roach is proposing an ordinance that aims to accomplish what a private citizen has come under fire for trying to do: give the taxpayers a voice in the multi-million dollar decision to construct a new general services building for Pierce County.
Last week, county resident Jerry Gibbs received notice that he’s again being sued – this time by two citizens who support the county’s proposal – in an effort to prevent his referendum from reaching the ballot. Gibbs had recently been sued by the county itself before members of the Council passed a resolution asking the county prosecutor to drop the suit.
“This process has been muddied every step of the way, but through it all one thing has remained crystal clear…the people want their voices heard,” said Roach, who represents the 1st Council District. “The ordinance I’m proposing will hopefully settle this matter for the time being and restore for citizens their right to participate in County government without fear of being sued to keep silent.”
On Feb. 27, the county executive directed the county prosecutor to file a lawsuit asking a judge to decide whether Gibbs’ referendum to bring the new general services building proposal before a vote of the people met the County Charter’s requirements. Roach’s ordinance would likely call for an advisory vote on the building project to be on the ballot later this year.
Dan Roach, Pierce County Council Chair