Carlisle Borough voters will determine Tuesday the fate of a proposed home rule charter.
The Sentinel editorial board met with charter review committee members and we unanimously support adoption of the charter.
Home Rule is no panacea and it is not being billed as such.
The charter should be approved if for no other reason than it allows the citizens of the borough to have greater control while reducing control by the state legislature.
Thomas Jefferson said, “The best government is that which governs least.” A Home Rule Charter helps by empowering the residents to make the changes they deem important.
The Charter, as presented, does 5 key things, including:
- Abolishes the tax collector office.
- Includes the mayor in the seven-member council rather than setting him/her apart, relegating the position to a tiebreaker.
- Sets term limits on all elected officials.
- Requires the police chief to report to the borough manager rather than the mayor.
- Establishes a procedure for initiative and referendum.
It is the initiative and referendum procedure which allows the residents to have a more significant voice.
With a little less than 500 signatures, any resident or group of residents can petition the Carlisle council to make changes, or leave those changes up to the voters themselves.
The right to petition the government is federally guaranteed in the first amendment of the US Constitution.
In our view it is a fundamental right citizens should have at all levels of government.
We urge voters to approve the Home Rule Charter Tuesday, May 19.