Clark County freeholders will be sworn in today

First meeting will be held immediately following

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The 15 Clark County residents elected as freeholders earlier this month will be sworn in today.

The event will be held at 6 p.m., at the Clark County Public Service Center sixth-floor hearing room, 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver. The group’s first meeting will follow at 6:30 p.m.

The freeholders elected as part of the Nov. 5 General Election are:

District 1 — Garry Lucas, Ann Rivers, Joseph Zarelli, Peter Silliman and Randy Mueller.

District 2 — Tracy S. Wilson, Liz Pike, Paul Dennis, Nan Henriksen and Marc Boldt.

District 3 — Val Ogden, Jim Moeller, Temple Lentz, Jim Mains and Pat Jollota.

Their terms run through Dec. 31, 2014, or when a draft home rule charter for changes to Clark County government is submitted for a public vote, whichever comes first. Freeholders are not paid a salary.

A county charter could include options such as giving citizens initiative and referendum power, establishing a legislative body with five or more commissioners instead of the current three, making the board of commissioners strictly legislative, making changes to elected or appointed officers, requiring county government to adopt a binding code of ethics, and creating new county positions or departments.

According to a Clark County press release, Rivers is expected to serve as the initial chairwoman, based on the results of the Nov. 5 General Election.

The freeholders’ meetings are open to the public.

This isn’t the first time Clark County voters have elected freeholders to create a home rule charter.

In 2000, 21 freeholders were elected. A charter was placed on the 2002 ballot and subsequently failed.

Currently six of Washington’s 39 counties have home rule, including King County (1968), Clallam County (1976), Whatcom County (1978), Pierce County (1980), Snohomish County (1980) and San Juan County (2005).