City Hall

Update: Alternate Tunnel Proposals Dead

By Erica C. Barnett May 23, 2011

The city council is about to meet to put the anti-tunnel referendum on the August ballot, and PubliCola has confirmed that city council member Nick Licata will not propose any alternative ballot measures such as a surface/transit only measure or a faceoff between surface/transit and the tunnel.

Instead, residents will be asked to vote on whether the city council should be allowed to move forward with a "notice to proceed" on the tunnel in the future (after the final Environmental Impact Statement is adopted) through a simple referendum, or whether it will have to pass an ordinance (which would itself be subject to yet another likely referendum.)

This morning, Licata publicly suggested that he might prefer to put an unspecified alternative or alternatives on the ballot alongside the main tunnel referendum, which King County Superior Court Judge Laura Gene Middaugh ruled last week is eligible for the August ballot.

Last week, King County Superior Court Judge Laura Gene Middaugh ruled that a portion of the legislation adopting agreements between the city and state on the deep-bore tunnel is eligible for referendum. A "yes" vote on the referendum that's proposed would uphold a portion of the agreements known as "Section 6," which stipulates the process by which the city council will issue a notice to proceed on the tunnel. The pro-tunnel camp has until approximately the end of June to appeal Judge Middaugh's order.
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