State initiative advocate Tim Eyman has asked a judge to order Redmond city clerk Michelle McGehee to hand over the regarding the city's traffic camera enforcement program.
In the motion and memorandum (attached to this story) filed Tuesday in King County Superior Court, Seattle attorney Daniel Quick asserted that state law requires the city to hand over the approximately 6,000 signatures turned over to the city on Sept. 14.
Specifically, he cited RCW 35.21.005, which states: "Within three working days after the filing of a petition, the officer with whom the petition is filed shall transmit the petition to the county auditor for petitions signed by registered voters, or to the county assessor for petitions signed by property owners for determination of sufficiency."
Redmond Mayor John Marchione and other city officials they were not handing over the signatures because they believe the petition is not legally subject to initiative.
Eyman said he is confident the judge will rule in his favor.
"It shouldn’t be necessary to ask a judge to ask our own government to follow the law, but that’s where we’re at," he said. "I don’t think they have a legal leg to stand on.”
The petition is the latest salvo in a battle between Redmond resident Scott Harlan, who began a , and city officials who say they are waiting until the end of the year to evaluate the pilot camera program and decide whether to renew their contact with their camera vendor, America Traffic Solutions.
The hearing on the motion will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 11 at the King County Courthouse in Seattle, Eyman said.
The mayor's office issued a statement in response to the litigation, which reads:
Following the City’s legal review, we are advised the proposed Redmond initiative is virtually identical to the City of Bellingham initiative deemed invalid by a recent Court of Appeals ruling and not subject to the initiative process. Despite the court’s ruling on the petition’s validity, the Council and Mayor have heard the perspective of our residents who signed it, and will consider this along with all the data and other feedback we have received as part of our pilot traffic/school zone safety program review at a study session scheduled for October 11. The City’s evaluation on whether or not to continue the pilot program will be completed by December, well before the proposed referendum can be held in February.
Deputy city administrator Jane Christenson said earlier this afternoon that the city has yet to be offiically served with a notice of a court hearing. The city council's public safety committee is set to review the latest red-light and speed camera data at a meeting later this afternoon.