870 more signatures for Monroe traffic camera initiative

  • By Alejandro Dominguez Herald Writer
  • Friday, June 10, 2011 12:01am
  • Local NewsMonroe

MONROE — Opponents of traffic-enforcement cameras have presented another batch of signatures to the city, hoping they have enough to put an anti-camera measure on the ballot.

The activist group Seeds of Liberty presented 870 signatures to City Hall on Thursday morning, one day before deadline.

“It was just absolutely amazing. It was like in the last three days, literally it just exploded,” said Mukilteo-based activist Tim Eyman, who has been assisting in the effort.

The signatures were for Monroe Initiative No. 1, which seeks to remove the cameras the city already has installed and to require voter approval before putting up any more. The measure also would reduce fines from camera-generated tickets.

The city has cameras up at three intersections but has yet to issue any citations. When the cameras go live, a red-light camera ticket in Monroe could cost $124.

Initiative backers had submitted 1,230 signatures in late May, but a review by the county auditor found many were from people outside the city. They were at least 375 signatures short.

The measure must have 999 signatures from registered voters living within city limits to make the ballot.

To get the needed signatures, the group doubled its efforts by going door-to-door in Monroe.

Seeds of Liberty founder Ty Balascio was confident there now are enough signatures.

On a “Ban Red-Light Cameras in Monroe” Facebook page, he credited the support of businesses and volunteers in Monroe and other cities.

“The success we achieved was very much a group effort,” said Balascio, who lives outside city limits. “We will continue to monitor this issue and other issues around our community.”

Monroe now plans to submit the signatures to the Snohomish County auditor Monday. It is unclear how long it will take to verify the signatures, Deputy City Clerk Eadye Martinson said.

The city has a contract with Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems and an ordinance allowing traffic cameras.

If the initiative gets enough signatures, the City Council has the option of either changing its ordinance or putting the initiative on the ballot.

Mukilteo voters passed a similar initiative by 71 percent last year.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

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