MESSAGE FOR MONROE’S CITY COUNCIL: Today is the deadline to comply with the law
Following Judge Bowden’s ruling in mid-January, state law (see below) required the Mayor and City Council to “cause to be called a special election to be held on the next election date.” That “next election date” is in April and the Snohomish County Auditor confirms that the deadline for that council-approved resolution must be forwarded to the Auditor NO LATER THAN TODAY.
You’ve had months to prepare for this. The Everett Herald reported on January 24th: “City officials expect to go behind closed doors Tuesday to talk with their lawyers about a recent ruling that appears to clear a path for another advisory vote on red-light cameras.”
But on February 29th in the Everett Herald, you contradict yourselves by claiming that you wouldn’t “get a chance to discuss the issue until next week at the earliest.”
On January 26th, the Mayor and City Council were sent a settlement offer (see attached). You met in executive session on Monday, February 6th to discuss it with your attorney Zac Lell. Attorney Dick Stephens sent me an email 2 days later saying ” ‘city council decided not to act’ on our offer.”
You have clearly had numerous opportunities to talk with your attorneys and make a decision.
On February 9th, we sent an email (see below) alerting Monroe’s Mayor and City Council that we’d like to be named to the committee to write the voters pamphlet argument and we reminded you that the deadline was today.
On February 26th, initiative co-sponsor Ty Balascio sent an email to the Mayor and City Council that read, in part: “Nearly every member of the 2011 Council and Executive stated on record ‘if this initiative is legal, it goes on the ballot’ The answer to that question is now clear. The Council meeting on Tuesday, February 28th 2012 is the last opportunity to submit a resolution in time for the April deadline. Failure to do so constitutes not only another dereliction of procedural duty, but contemptibly goes against a direct court order.”
Following his email reminder, Monroe’s Mayor and City Council CANCELLED the Tuesday, February 28th council meeting.
It is 9 am on the day of the deadline; there is absolutely no reason whatsoever why Monroe’s Mayor and City Council can’t approve a resolution today or this evening and forward it to Garth Fell at the Snohomish County Auditor’s office. As long as it is received before midnight by email or fax, it will be in compliance with state law.
Nearly half of all active voters in Monroe signed petitions for Monroe Initiative #1 — they were entitled to a public vote in November. You ignored them and sued the citizens instead. You lost — Judge Bowden ruled you were wrong to block our initiative, imposed a sizeable fine, and required you to pay our attorneys fees. State law and a superior court judge require you to put Monroe Initiative #1 (section 3) on the “next election date.” The deadline for compliance is today.
Do what the voters want, what state law requires, and what Judge Bowden instructed. Do it today before the midnight deadline.