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P. 1
Red Light Cameras Opinion

Red Light Cameras Opinion

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Published by pwissel3066

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Published by: pwissel3066 on Mar 08, 2012
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03/08/2012

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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON
MUKILTEO CITIZENS FOR SIMPLE)GOVERNMENT, an unincorporated)No. 84921-8associationof Mukilteo residents,))Appellants,))v.)En Banc)CITY OF MUKILTEO, a Washington)municipalcorporation; CHRISTINE)BOUGHMAN, in her official capacity as)City Clerk forthe City of Mukilteo;)SNOHOMISH COUNTY, a political)subdivisionof the State of Washington;)CAROLYN WEIKEL, inher official)capacityas Snohomish County Auditor,))Respondents,) Filed March 8, 2012)NICHOLAS SHERWOOD; ALEX RION;)andTIM EYMAN,))Respondents/Intervenors.)______________________________________)MADSEN, C.J.—Thiscaseinvolves a preelectionchallenge to an initiativemeasure, Proposition 1,whichrepealedan ordinance governingthe use of automated
 
No. 84921-82
traffic safety cameras in the city of Mukilteo.The trial court declined to grant aninjunction,and Proposition 1was placed on the November 2, 2010, SnohomishCountygeneral election ballot.We hold thatbecause the legislature expressly granted authority to the governingbody of the city of Mukilteo to enact ordinances ontheuse of automated traffic safetycameras,the subject matter of Proposition 1is not within the initiative power.FACTSMukilteo is a nonchartercode city that operates under Title 35A RCW. The cityhas adopted the code city initiative and referendum power provided under RCW35A.11.080-.100. Mukilteo Municipal Code(MMC) 1.14.010;
see
Clerk’s Papers (CP)at 42. Under RCW 35A.11.100, the powers of initiative and referendum in nonchartercode cities are to be exercisedas set forth in RCW 35.17.240-.360.In 2005, the Washington State Legislature authorized local governments to enactordinances that allow the use of automated traffic safety cameras to issue notices of traffic infractions. Former RCW 46.63.170 (2005). On May 17, 2010, the city of Mukilteo enacted Ordinance 1246, authorizingand setting forth the guidelines for useof automated traffic safety cameras. On thesame day,the city council authorized the mayorto enter into a contract with American Traffic Solutions to supply the city with automatedtraffic cameras.In June 2010, apetition forMukilteoInitiative 2 was commenced. Shortlythereafter, residents of the city ofMukilteo submitted Initiative 2 to the Mukilteo city
 
No. 84921-83
clerkfor inclusion on the ballot. Initiative 2 forbade the city of Mukilteo from installingan automated traffic safety camera system unless approved by two-thirds of the voters,limited the amount of fines that could be imposed for infractions arising from camerasurveillance, and repealed the existing ordinance allowing automated traffic safetycameras. Initiative 2 also provided that any new automated traffic safety ordinance hadto be put on the ballot for an advisory vote. The petition’s proposed ballot title wasMukilteo Initiative 2.On June 21, 2010, the Mukilteo City Council rescinded its authorization for themayor to enter into a contract on behalf of the city with American Traffic Solutions. At aJuly19,2010 meeting, the Mukilteo City Council approvedResolution 2010-22, whichdirected the Mukilteo city clerk to provide the Snohomish County auditor with a certifiedcopy of the resolution and askedthe auditor to place Initiative2 on the November2,2010, city ballot. The resolution included a recital that states “the City Council desires tohear from the qualified electorate on the issues addressed inthe Initiative Petition,regardlessof whether the subject matter is subject to the initiativeprocess.” CP at 84.After the July 19,2010 meeting, the Mukilteo Citizens for Simple Government(MCSG), an unincorporated association of Mukilteo residents,filed a complaintinSnohomish County Superior Court against the city of Mukilteo, the city clerk, SnohomishCounty, and the county auditorseeking a declaration that an initiative was beyond thescope of the local initiative powers and an injunction preventing the inclusion of themeasure on the ballot.The initiative’s sponsors were permitted tointervene in the action.

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