An infantile proposal by the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates’ Charter Review Committee to eradicate the board of county commissioners is a misguided attempt at a regional power grab to the detriment of voters across Cape Cod.
The Barnstable County Home Rule Charter is the Constitution and guide for our Cape Cod regional government.
It provides a blueprint for how the county works as well as a mechanism to fine-tune things via the enactment of ordinances. It has the ability to evolve through the amendment process.
Structurally, county government is composed of two main elements: an executive branch, which is the county commissioners, and the legislative branch, which is the Assembly of Delegates. The three county commissioners are elected on a Cape-wide basis, while the 15 members of the County Assembly are elected on a town-by-town basis.
The branches of county government include a system of “checks and balances” which allow matters to be debated, resolved and/or rejected in a profound democratic fashion.
With this background in mind, it is my contention that the current structure of our county government is fine as is. It functions well, as shown in recent years. If it is not broke, then don’t fix it.
Ronald R. Beaty Jr.
Ronald R. Beaty is a Barnstable County commissioner.