Tacoma initiative removes power of the people

KING 5's Jenna Hanchard reports.

Citizens in Washington have long taken advantage of citizen initiatives during elections, which give people the power to change their government.

Alex Hays, a political consultant in Tacoma, worked to get enough signatures for his citizen's initiative which seeks to change the city to a strong mayor form of government.

"We think it's much healthier to have a city government run by an elected mayor and a city council that has more authority," he said.

But there was one mistake. In an effort to redraft the city charter, there was mix up and Hays accidentally removed a section of the charter that gives people the power to create initiatives and referendums. If passed, this initiative would take that power away from people in Tacoma.

"We reacted to the city's request that we put together a different version. They wanted the entire charter reproduced. That made it a little harder to get right and unfortunately that created a chance for this mistake to occur," said Hays.

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland says citizen's initiatives are a great power that people have, but citizens have to be diligent about what they submit.

"It's always important to proofread your work. I always tell people have someone else proofread your work," said Strickland.

Meanwhile, Hays hopes city council will be able to make changes in time for the November ballot.

"One of the great advantages of admitting you made a mistake is you can go immediately into the, 'hey, lets fix this' and that's what we asked city council to do. We asked them to fix this," said Hays.

But for right now, the city's hands are tied.

"If you have a group of people who signed something, we just don't think that's it proper for city council to insert itself and say here's the correction you wanted to make," said Mayor Strickland.

If the initiative is passed, Mayor Strickland said they city will figure out how to proceed.


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories