by Doug Bohn, Victor
There was one good thing to come out of the recent meetings held by the County Commissioners regarding Election Integrity. Unfortunately, it had nothing to do with election Integrity. The good news pertained to the press releases making many of the citizens in Ravalli County aware of the form of Government our County has operated under for many years, adopting it, yet again, 10 years ago.
This revelation came when our commissioners desired to audit local elections. This desire stemmed from our Commissioners, when seeking ways to affirm the elections in Ravalli County were safe, secure, open and accurate, discovered they were disallowed from auditing local elections by the Secretary of State. With the County being “in charge” of elections as defined by the legislature, this came as a surprise to many.
You see, our county operates under a “General Powers” form of government. Of all the forms of Government available, the General Powers form is the MOST SUBSERVIENT to the State. To boil it down, our county can not exercise any authority unless State Laws says they may. That’s right, If there’s not a law that says they can, they can’t.
This is so contrary to the American concept of freedom, most have difficulty getting their head around it. Imagine living in a world where you have to seek permission to go to work, or get a new job, or buy a hunting or fishing license, or do anything else you take the freedom to do for granted. That is our form of county government.
Why would a County voluntarily surrender the rights of self-government for themselves and thereby their citizens? The answer may surprise you; Logic. With great authority comes great responsibility. Under a “General Powers” form of Government, elected officials have an out from accepting the full responsibility of their positions. Simply stated, IT’S EASIER to surrender your rights and their responsibilities to a “higher authority” than to accept and administer it.
Soon we will commence the “County Government Review” process here in Ravalli County. Here’s to hope. Hope that our civil and freedom minded citizens see fit to reclaim the governing authority our founding fathers envisioned when they chose to rest ALL NON ENUMERATED POWERS into the hands of WE THE PEOPLE. Hope that WE, as a free and independent people, can accept and embrace this authority which is rightfully ours.