Judge says Eyman red-light camera initiative is not valid

Judge says Eyman red-light camera initiative is not valid

Credit: KING

Judge says Eyman red-light camera initiative is not valid

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by KING5.com

KING5.com

Posted on October 11, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 11 at 11:06 PM

A King County Superior Court judge sided with the City of Redmond on Tuesday in a case involving a proposed ballot initiative to cancel the city's red-light and traffic cameras.

Judge Laura Inveen agreed with the city's argument that the initiative -- which has the support of activist Tim Eyman -- was invalid because it deals with an issue that should be decided by the mayor and city council.

Eyman and his allies took to the courts to try to force the Redmond City Clerk to submit for certification the 6,000 citizen signatures gathered in favor of the ballot initiative.

Tuesday's ruling was a "mixed bag" for the plaintiffs, according to Scott Harlan, a supporter of Eyman's initiative. While the judge deemed the initiative invalid, she also agreed that the clerk should have turned the citizen signatures over for certification for a Feb. 2012 vote.

“Today’s court ruling is a strong affirmation of the City of Redmond’s action to fulfill its responsibilities and not abdicate its role to ‘government-by-initiative,'" said Mayor John Marchione. "The city’s actions are guided by law that the decision to use traffic camera enforcement is reserved for the City Council only."

Eyman said today's court action shows that "Redmond's mayor and city council believe the citizen initiative process is a useless act" and that "their opinion is deeply disrespectful to the 6050 Redmond voters who signed those petitions and the scores of citizens who helped collect them."

Harlan said initiative supporters are waiting to read the official written ruling before deciding on next steps.

The City Council said it plans to make a final decision on whether to continue the one-year pilot traffic camera program by Dec. 1.

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