Should Thurston County add two more county commissioners?

By JC Medina

Due to population growth, the Thurston County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) is considering expanding its ranks from three to five elected members.

At its Wednesday meeting, the BOCC held a public hearing on Tuesday, July 19 at the Thurston County Courthouse Complex, Building 1, Room 280, to seek feedback from residents so that commissioners can approve a remedial measure. vote that would appear in the November 8th. general election.

Commissioners Carolina Mejia and Gary Edwards voted in favor of the public hearing. Commissioner Tye Menser was excused from the meeting.

County Executive Ramiro Chavez said if the resolution wins majority voter approval, elections for the two new members will be held in 2023.

“The county will be divided into five commissioner districts so that each district will comprise, as much as possible, one-fifth of the county’s population,” Chavez said.

RCW 36.32.055 allows any unchartered county, such as Thurston, with a population of 300,000 or more and less than 400,000, to provoke a ballot proposal in a general election on whether to allow the BOCC to increase its members to five.

According to the latest data from the Office of Financial Management, Thurston County has a population of 300,500.

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