Sequim: City to continue court fight over initiative

Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM, WA -- A court fight over an initiative prohibiting the City Council from issuing bonds for water or sewer projects without a public vote will continue.

Monday night, the council took no action to halt the automatic appeal of a Jefferson County judge's recent decision to dismiss the case against Paul Malkasian, who started the initiative.

The council met in executive session for about 30 minutes to hear City Attorney Craig Ritchie explain the case and the city's options.

Ritchie said the case will go to the state appellate court -- which previously refused to rule, saying the point was ``moot'' because the initiative had been approved by the voters.

Mayor Walt Schubert said the council is following the course set by a previous council, which acted on the advice of the city attorney.

Ritchie said the council decided to pursue a lawsuit before 70 percent of city voters approved the measure in 1996.

The initiative, according to Ritchie, is flawed because it could harm the city's bond rating and also be costly to taxpayers who would pay for elections whenever a bond is needed.

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