Issaquah plastic bag ban appeal request bags enough signatures
October 4, 2013
By Peter Clark
NEW — 1 p.m. Oct. 4, 2013
The petition is in the bag.
After consumer group Save Our Choice fought a long battle to gather enough local support, King County officially approved the petition to end the ban on plastic bags Oct. 4.
“King County Elections has completed verification of the signatures submitted to our office for the City of Issaquah Initiative Petition regarding the Repeal of Plastic Bag Ban and Forced Paper Bag Charge,” Sherril Huff, director of King County Elections Department wrote in her letter notifying Save Our Choice of the findings.
“Of the signatures that were compared against those on file with our office, 2,597 were determined to be registered voters of the city of Issaquah,” she wrote. “Since that number met the requirement of 2,549, it is determined that the petition is sufficient.”
After the first round of signatures was found invalid, Save Our Choice had 10 days to collect more, which it resubmitted to the county Oct. 2.
“It’s back in the city’s court,” King County Communications Manager Barbara Ramey said.
The Issaquah City Council has two choices before it — approve the language outright and strike the ordinance from the books, or put the measure on a ballot and let voters choose whether to continue the ban.
Ramey said the county must be notified by Dec. 27 if the City Council wishes to put the issue on the Feb. 11 election ballot.
The ordinance to ban plastic bags was approved last year and went into effect March 1. It currently applies to larger retailers, but would include all stores beginning March 1, 2014.
Save Our Choice founder Craig Keller took the county’s findings well.
“I am much relieved,” he said, though it won’t mean the end for the West Seattle resident’s time in Issaquah. “I want to continue to educate voters and be a voice for the people in the city.”
Due to language included in the petition, should the council wish to pass any similar measures, it would now have to go through a referendum process.
“What we earned is the City Council can adopt the petition immediately or they can pass it on to the voters,” Keller said. “Which is what we want. I welcome a vote.”
It has not yet been determined when the City Council will address the petition.