Mukilteo to seek alternatives to red light cameras

MUKILTEO — City officials will look at alternatives to red light and school zone cameras along the Mukilteo Speedway.

The City Council on Monday voted unanimously to rescind approval of a contract that would have added speed zone cameras in front of Olympic View Middle School and red light cameras at the intersection of Harbour Pointe Boulevard and the Speedway this year.

Residents angry about the plan gave their elected leaders an earful Monday.

Most of the speakers had signed petitions circulated by anti-tax crusader Tim Eyman, a city resident who is challenging the plan to add red light cameras along the speedway at Harbour Pointe Boulevard and school zone cameras in front of Olympic View Middle School.

“I feel like what we need is more police presence,” said Victoria Callfas, of Mukilteo.

Eyman last month began gathering signatures on a petition seeking a city-wide vote on the issue. If approved, his proposal would force the city to ask voters for approval whenever the city wants to add red light or speed zone cameras.

Last May, a divided council agreed to hire American Traffic Solutions of Arizona to install the cameras, which take photographs and video of vehicles that run red lights or speed in school zones. Mayor Joe Marine cast the tie-breaking vote because Councilman Kevin Stolz was away. Stolz later said he would have voted against the plan.

Council President Randy Lord and Stolz agreed Monday the city’s Transportation Committee should have reviewed the proposal to add the cameras before the council took action. Lord said the council should have considered other options before agreeing to install the cameras.

“If we find that the polite Mukilteo approach doesn’t work, we will be a little more aggressive,” Lord said.

“I never saw that coming,” said Eyman, after Monday’s vote. “It’s very encouraging. It shows they listened.” Eyman has set a Friday deadline to gather extra signatures he needs to make up for 407 signatures the Snohomish County Elections Office declared invalid last week.

The Snohomish County elections office must certify 1,793 valid signatures for the petition to get on the Nov. 2 ballot. Once that happens, council members have three options: They can take no action on the initiative, agree to place the initiative on the ballot, or adopt the initiative as city law without putting it to a public vote.

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