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Guest Opinion: Redmond Drivers Finally Free of Traffic Enforcement Cameras

By Tim Eyman

Redmond doesn't want to be another Lynnwood—good choice. All the ticketing cameras have been turned off in Redmond.  Your police department's confirmed in an email late last week that the last of the speed ticketing cameras in Redmond were shut down on Friday, June 22. That follows the shut down of red-light cameras in early February.

That's great, great news. Thanks to our various local initiatives, Redmond joins Mukilteo (71 percent against ticketing cameras and Bellingham (68 percent against ticketing cameras) and Longview (59 percent against ticketing cameras) in pulling the plug on those obnoxious ticketing cameras, transforming these communities into "Big Brother-less" zones.

I still remember when Redmond Mayor John Marchione said that our initiative effort to let the voters in Redmond decide on ticketing cameras was a "temper tantrum in the middle of the government process." I do not think most Redmond citizens agree that exercising free speech rights is a temper tantrum.  The First Amendment is not a temper tantrum. was the first initiative in the entire history of the city. It was the first time the people felt so strongly about an issue that they decided to sign initiative petitions at a record pace to ensure a public vote. Redmond's city charter contains the people's right to initiative and unless and until the mayor and city council vote to remove it, city officials should respect the people's right to participate in this time-honored freedom.

The decision of the mayor and city council to obstruct Redmond Initiative No. 1 was wrong and disrespectful of the Redmond citizens who signed those petitions. Our attorney Daniel Quick has filed the legal briefs before the appeals court and oral arguments will be heard this fall. It is a dangerous and unacceptable precedent to allow Redmond's mayor and city council to get away with not turning over initiative petitions to the county for verification. The law clearly states that initiative petitions must be turned over within three days and it cannot be optional for city officials to ignore the law.

Scott Harlan, Nick Sherwood, Alex Rion, and I are very proud to have co-sponsored Redmond Initiative No. 1 and pleased that we helped more than 5,000 Redmond voters amplify their anti-ticketing-camera voices in the political process. And we are thrilled that the city of Redmond is no longer treating its citizens like ATM machines and have shut down all their ticketing-cameras.  June 22 should always be remembered as Camera Emancipation Day in Redmond.

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Editor's note: State initiative activist Tim Eyman helped Scott Harlan and his volunteers organize Redmond Initiative No. 1. The to end its contract with camera vendor American Traffic Solutions but agreed to keep a camera at Einstein Elementary through the end of the school year. Click here to see an archive of red-light camera stories on Redmond Patch.

Catherine Wittel June 25, 2012 at 06:33 PM
There were never enough signatures on your petition to get it on the ballot for a regularly scheduled election. Thank you city council for not requiring the citizens of Redmond to sponsor a special election over traffic light cameras. The opposition made themselves heard at city council meetings, and whether we agree or not, the city council acted on those concerns. I don't see this at all as a statement from the "citizens" of Redmond because we never voted on it and the petition was never strong enough to get past the legal requirements. It would have required an expensive special election to serve the Eyman ego rather than to benefit the citizens of Redmond. And, by the way Eyman, you still are working to milk the citizens of Redmond with your lawsuit. The issue is settled, but your desire to promote yourself continues.
Tim Eyman June 25, 2012 at 10:00 PM
you wrote: There were never enough signatures on your petition to get it on the ballot response: incorrect. 3845 were required, but thanks to the heroic efforts of Scott Harlan and his crew of supporters, they turned in 6050. Rather than send the petitions to the county auditor as the law requires, the city refused to send them over. That kind of blatant lawbreaking deserves a judicial inquiry. Regardless of one's views on ticketing cameras, the initiative process itself is being violated when city officials refuse to follow the law and sidestep the charter's guaranteed right to initiative
Tim Eyman June 25, 2012 at 10:03 PM
more details on the situation can be found here: Mayor, City Council ignoring laws governing initiatives http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/east_king/red/opinion/130364088.html
K Hoggan June 26, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Thanks to Scott Harlan, Tim Eyman, and the other volunteers. As a Redmond resident, I think we should name a holiday after you guys! Great work and thanks for showing the city council how democracy works.
Catherine Wittel June 27, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Eyman: You are wrong. And you know. There were NOT enough signatures to get on the ballot for a REGULARLY SCHEDULED election. The petition did eventually gather enough signatures, but only for a special election, and that would have cost taxpayers. You are twisting the facts to promote your own personal political agenda which has very little to do with what happens in Redmond. I also would congratulate Scott Harlan and anyone who works for a cause they believe in and willing to exercise his rights. Eyman: Your interests lie in personal self promotion without concern for the taxpaying citizens of Redmond. http://www.permanentdefense.org/newsroom/2012/03/tim-eyman-master-of-shameless-self-promotion-accuses-senate-democrats-of-having-a-lack-of-humility-and-self-awareness.html

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