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Originally published Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 8:14 PM

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Mukilteo group goes to court over vote on traffic cameras

A group from Mukilteo asked the state Supreme Court on Tuesday to rule on the validity of a public vote on red-light traffic cameras in the city. It's a case that could have broad implications as red-light camera opponents push ballot measures in several Washington cities.

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OLYMPIA — A group from Mukilteo asked the state Supreme Court on Tuesday to rule on the validity of a public vote on red-light traffic cameras. It's a case that could have broad implications as red-light-camera opponents push ballot measures in several Washington cities.

Camera foes, including frequent initiative sponsor Tim Eyman, collected signatures last year seeking to repeal a Mukilteo ordinance allowing the cameras and require a public vote before the city could use them. The measure passed with 71 percent.

The City Council determined the cameras were not a valid initiative topic because the Legislature had granted authority over their use to local legislative bodies, not voters. Instead of treating the measure as a binding initiative — the way it appeared on the ballot — the City Council considered it an advisory vote by the people. Last month, the council abolished red-light cameras in Mukilteo.

Vanessa Power, a lawyer for a group called Mukilteo Citizens for Simple Government, asked the court Tuesday to rule that the initiative should never have been on the ballot. Nor should the court sanction the City Council's decision to consider the vote advisory, she said.

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