Making Democracy Work

Berkeley County 2018 Ballot Questions

Berkeley Ballot Questions

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Question 1: Change County Government to Council-Aministrator?

Question 1 on the ballot for Berkeley County voters is as follows:

Should the form of Berkeley County's government be changed to a Council-Administrator form of government as set forth in the S.C. Code of Laws Title 4, Chapter 9, Article 7 (1976, as amended) from that of a Council-Supervisor form of government as set forth in the S.C. Code of Laws Title 4, Chapter 9, Article 5 (1976, as amended)?

EXPLANATION BY THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF THE CHARLESTON AREA*

Yes--A "yes" vote is a vote in favor of changing the current form of government to a Council-Administrator form of government.

No--A "no" vote is a vote to retain the current Council-Supervisor form of government.

The purpose of this vote is to determine whether Berkeley County should continue being led by a supervisor who is elected countywide every four years or change to an administrator form of county government in which the county administrator is hired by County Council.

A "Yes" vote authorizes Berkeley County to move to a hired administrator form of county government.

A "No" vote authorizes Berkeley County to remain with the current elected supervisor form of government.

ARGUMENTS THAT SUPPORT A "YES" VOTE INCLUDE:

It would ensure that a trained professional holds the position and reports to and follows directives of County Council and would not have a vote on council.

Making this a hired position would eliminate having to run for office and serve as a member of Council.

With four-year elections removed, there will be increased continuity, more long-term county planning and added efficiency.

Berkeley County is one of only four counties statewide that is governed by an elected supervisor. The others have a combined population of less than half of Berkeley's approximately 220,000 residents.

ARGUMENTS THAT SUPPORT A "NO" VOTE INCLUDE:

Countywide election provides voters with direct control over the choice of county supervisor.

An elected county supervisor serves as the chair of County Council, making her/him accountable to voters.

A hired administrator may not be as familiar with the Berkeley County community.

It could be cumbersome dismantling the current supervisor system and disconnects could occur.

*THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF THE CHARLESTON AREA HAS NO POSITION FOR OR AGAINST THIS BALLOT MEASURE.

Question 2: If Question 1 passes, elect a 9th Council Member?

Question 2 on the ballot for Berkeley County voters is as follows:

If the electors of Berkeley County vote in favor of changing the form of government in Berkeley County from a Council-Supervisor form of government to a Council-Administrator form of government, should a ninth council position elected from a single-member district be added to the current eight-member council or should the members of the Berkeley County Council members remain at eight?

EXPLANATION BY THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF THE CHARLESTON AREA*

Yes--A "yes" vote is in favor of adding a ninth member to Berkeley County Council who shall be elected from a single-member district.

No--A "no" vote is a vote in favor of retaining eight Berkeley County Council members elected from single-member districts. LWVCA Explanation of the Vote*

If a majority of Berkeley County voters cast their ballots "yes" and thereby move to a hired administrator form of government, should county government be expanded to nine single-member districts or remain at eight single-member districts?

ARGUMENTS THAT SUPPORT A "YES" VOTE INCLUDE:

Addition of a ninth seat would increase community representation on County Council.

Having an odd number of Council members ensures that there will be no tie votes.

ARGUMENTS THAT SUPPORT A "NO" VOTE INCLUDE:

A larger board has the potential to be less streamlined and less efficient.

District lines will have to be redrawn. This could be time consuming and confusing for voters and influenced by potential gerrymandering.

*THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF THE CHARLESTON AREA HAS NO POSITION FOR OR AGAINST THIS BALLOT MEASURE.