Category Archives: Local Politics

Running for Dogcatcher

Campaign 2

Gary Wiram, PCO – Precinct 690

Have you ever heard someone slam a politician by saying, “He’s so unpopular he couldn’t even get elected Dogcatcher”? According to Wiktionary (not a source I’d trust for something more important), the usage of this phrase is summed up as follows:

“Dogcatcher is virtually never an elected office (only one elected dogcatcher office exists, in Duxbury, Vermont); the phrase is hyperbole, using dogcatcher to indicate ‘the most lowly conceivable office’.”


After considering that Wiktionary says Dogcatcher is virtually never an elected office, I’ve decided that the elective position I now hold has become the most lowly conceivable office – i.e. Precinct Committee Officer (PCO). If you don’t know, a voting precinct is a subdivision of either a city or county where each address in the area is assigned to a precinct and each precinct is then given a specific location for its residents to vote. Precinct sizes vary but the U. S. has an average of 1,100 voters per precinct, with each one having both a Democrat and a Republican PCO. These are unpaid elected positions meant to help the parties stay in touch with the thoughts and feelings of neighborhood residents. If a person files to run for PCO and they’re unopposed, their name doesn’t even appear on any ballot. Typically, if a person who files to run for PCO is unopposed, they are appointed to that position by their respective party. However, if more than one person files, each of their names appear on the ballots of voters living in the respective precinct.


Precinct 690

Precinct 690

Two years ago, the Chairman of the Clark County Washington Republican Party (CCRP) asked me to run for PCO in Precinct 690. I agreed to do so, with the understanding that I’d have limited time and energy to do the job. This year, due to my dismay over what has happened at the top of both party’s tickets, I came close to not filing for reelection. After further prayerful consideration, though, I decided that if I’m going to make any difference in getting my party and our country back on course, I needed to be willing to do my part. Interestingly, shortly after I did file, I learned that another person had also filed. That meant that, in my aim to make a difference, I’d have to start by campaigning. Although I won’t bore you with all the details of my campaign, I want to tell you about some of its key aspects and the ways in which I was blessed along the way. Continue reading


Filed under character, commitment, community, Local Politics, Making a Difference, politics, Presidents

Clark County (WA) Votes on Home Rule Charter

Taxpayers Lose Representation While Gaining Wasteful Bureaucracy

Cross-Posted From:


Vote No


In November 2013, Clark County (WA) voters elected five county residents from each of the three Clark County Commissioner districts to serve as a Board of Freeholders. In May 2014, the board approved a drafted home rule charter, specifying a form of government for the county, to be placed on the ballot for the November 4th general election. By law, the Board of Freeholders dissolved when the proposed charter was completed. According to one of the (now former) Freeholders, the aim of the proposed charter is “to give taxpayers better representation, more local control and needed protections against abuse of power and wasteful government.” In my view, if this was the aim of the Board of Freeholders, they missed their target altogether. In fact, I believe the proposed charter would produce results that are fully opposite of the board’s stated objectives. The following summarizes my perspective on this:


If you’re in favor of self-government, you should vote “No!” on the proposed Clark County Home Rule Charter. If you’re in favor of handing over your authority to a small group of career politicians, their special interest friends and the wasteful bureaucracy they aim to build up, you should vote “Yes”. It’s that simple.


Presently, Clark County government is headed up by three full-time elected Commissioners. This means you have ultimate control by choosing to vote a Commissioner in or out at the end of their respective four-year term.


The proposed Charter would replace the three full-time Commissioners with five part-time Councilors whose authority would be placed in an appointed County Executive – i.e. an unelected bureaucrat. This would mean the complete removal of the ultimate control you presently have over Clark County government.


For clarity on this last point, think about the current County Commissioner you are most interested in removing from office. Now, think about that person resigning and successfully seeking to be appointed as the new County Executive (with his or her resume, it would be hard to fault their qualifications). Now what are you going to do?!


The pro-Charter elitists have added a petition and initiative process to their proposal, as a seeming enticement to vote “Yes”. Since it cannot be used to eliminate or reduce taxes or fees, or change a county policy, or stop or amend a county project, or add or get rid of a program, or reverse a budget decision, or amend the charter or repeal the charter, or … , it is pretty much impotent.

Although the aspect of the proposed Charter that takes authority out of the hands of Clark County voters provides more than enough reason for a “NO!” vote, it has many other negative features. These include: The marginalization of rural interests through redistricting and a planned four-year transition that is likely to bring chaos to a presently stable county government, where the costs of governing have been seeing dramatic reductions, contributing to the overall thriving of the county itself.

As the British say, the proof of the pudding is in its eating. There are 133 counties on the West Coast. Only 28 are Charter Counties. Only 5 of them have County Executives. Zero (0) of them have County Executives with the autonomy Clark County’s would have. This makes it abundantly clear that the right thing to do is to …

Vote NO Charter!

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Filed under Local Politics