Monroe to ask voters about traffic cameras again

MONROE — Voters in Monroe again will be asked whether they think the city should use traffic-enforcement cameras.

That part of the general-election ballot is advisory, though. And the vote will serve little purpose because city officials already have decided to ditch the cameras as soon as they can.

Monroe voters in 2011 resoundingly voted “no” when asked whether they wanted the cameras.

They’re being asked again because of the complicated, ongoing legal battle between city officials and Tim Eyman and crew.

Multiple camera-related ballot measures were floated in 2011, one of which included annual advisory votes.

The legality of what happened still is being settled. The two sides have been in court on and off for the past year.

The case is scheduled for more hearings in the state Court of Appeals on Nov. 1.

City officials expect the legal wrangling to be resolved before the end of November, city administrator Gene Brazel said this week.

The ongoing litigation prevented him from commenting further, he said.

“I can say that the city respects the opinion of the Monroe citizens and because of this, (the camera question) has been placed back on the ballot this year for their advisory vote,” he said.

Eyman disagrees.

“It should have just taken one vote,” Eyman said. “One should have been enough, but here we are.”

The crux of the argument now is this: Eyman and the anti-camera camp maintain that the city should have pulled the plug on the cameras a long time ago.

City officials maintain that doing so would open Monroe up to potential expensive litigation for breach of contract with the vendor, Redflex Traffic Systems of Arizona.

The current contract ends in late 2013. Monroe Mayor Robert Zimmerman earlier this year said there was “zero” likelihood the city will renew the contract.

Together, Monroe’s speed-zone and red-light cameras yielded $435,730 in fines between August 2011 and June 2012, police data show.

The vote this time mirrors the question asked earlier: Should Monroe continue to use traffic enforcement cameras?

There are no minimum vote or turnout requirements for advisory measures, Snohomish County elections manager Garth Fell said.

“The results simply indicate public feeling on an issue and can be used by the jurisdiction as they see fit,” he said.

Regular ballots are mailed Oct. 18.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com

More in Local News

Young woman missing from Mukilteo found safe

She called her parents and told them she was at a museum in Seattle.

Mom and brother turn in suspect in Stanwood robberies

The man is suspected of robbing the same gas station twice, and apologizing to the clerk afterward.

Edmonds police are searching for Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, in the homicide of his roommate. If you see him, call 911. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Officials to test sanity of suspect in Everett crime spree

He allegedly tried to rob and clobber a transit worker, then fled and struggled with police.

Train kills man who was trying to get off tracks in Monroe

The conductor said he attempted to stop after sighting the man, who’d been lying on the rails.

Navy to put filter in Coupeville’s contaminated water system

Chemicals from firefighting foam was found in the town’s drinking water.

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Most Read