Issaquah bag-ban foe goes to court over ballot language

November 26, 2013

A judge will decide whether ballot language on an initiative to repeal Issaquah’s plastic-bag ban is misleading and should be rewritten.

Craig Keller, sponsor of the initiative citizens will vote on Feb. 11, filed a petition Nov. 15 in King County Superior Court that objects to the wording of the ballot title and ballot statement.

Keller is chairman of Save Our Choice, the group that circulated petitions against the law, which went into effect for larger stores last March and is scheduled to be extended to smaller stores next March.

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Issaquah City Council sends plastic bag ban to February vote

October 22, 2013

NEW — 2:45 p.m. Oct. 22, 2013

Voters will ultimately decide the fate of Issaquah’s plastic bag ban.

In a unanimous decision, the City Council approved a resolution to hold a special election Feb. 11 to ask voters whether a ban on plastic bags should continue.

“Over 60 percent of the citizens that contacted me were in favor of that ordinance,” Councilman Paul Winterstein said, defending his vote in favor of the original ban. “And I followed that duly and I take that very seriously. But we’re also a city of laws. I’m in favor of putting it in front of a vote, and I can accept whatever outcome that comes.”

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Issaquah plastic bag ban appeal request bags enough signatures

October 4, 2013

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.”

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Bag ban petition is in limbo

September 17, 2013

More than 1,500 signatures are invalid, county says

King County has preliminarily invalidated more than 1,500 signatures from the bag ban appeal Sept. 13.

In a letter sent to City Clerk Tina Eggers and Save Our Choice co-founder Craig Keller, King County Voter Services Program Manager Julie Wise wrote that the submitted petition had failed the department’s first review. However, it has still not released an official certificate of insufficiency.

Save Our Choice has sought to bring the recent ban on plastic bags to a public referendum, discontent that it passed through the City Council without receiving a larger vote.

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Plastic bag ban appeal gets enough signatures

September 10, 2013

An appeal to the Issaquah bag ban is now in King County’s hands.

Save Our Choice, a volunteer organization working throughout the Seattle metropolitan area in opposition to bans on plastic bags, submitted well over the requisite number of signatures to seek a citizen referendum on the six-month-old ordinance Aug. 30. An as-yet-unverified 3,400 signatures were given to the city, which then passed them to the county elections department.

Save Our Choice Co-founder Craig Keller, who has gone door to door since the inception of the effort March 1, said he was not celebrating yet. Although the organization turned in more than the 2,549 needed, he said he would still collect signatures in case the county invalidated any of the ones already collected.

“We’re still collecting signatures just in case we need any,” he said. “I’m not worried that we’re going to get enough. It’s a relief.”

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Signatures have been submitted to repeal plastic bag ban

September 3, 2013

NEW — 11:45 a.m. Sept. 4, 2013

Opponents of the city’s plastic shopping bag ban submitted petition signatures Aug. 30 in support of an initiative to require a vote of city residents to repeal the law that took effect in March.

Craig Keller, the West Seattle resident who spearheaded the Save Our Choice repeal campaign, said he submitted more than 3,400 signatures to the City Clerk’s Office.

Keller said he calculated that 2,843 valid signatures are required under state law. City and King County officials will determine the number required and the validity of those submitted.

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Editorial

August 27, 2013

Next step: one less garbage bag a month

Issaquah shoppers are already getting the hang of carrying their own bags into grocery and large retail stores. The plastic bag ban has been in effect for nearly six months. Ready for the next step?

King County is getting in on the action of reducing plastic and other materials in the landfill by encouraging residents to use one less plastic garbage bag a month by recycling more of the basics.

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Save our Choice still seeks to reverse ban

July 16, 2013

Save Our Choice will not give up its continuing effort to repeal Issaquah’s ban on plastic bags.

Organizer Craig Keller said that, although volunteers were not able to secure the 2,843 signatures needed to appear on the August ballot, they would not halt the work.

“We’re making good progress,” Keller said.

The organization’s largest argument revolves around the issue being decided by the City Council without input from Issaquah’s citizens. Keller said a measure that affected business and shopping practices should have been brought to the voters in a referendum.

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Plastic bag ban repeal effort will not appear on August ballot

July 9, 2013

An attempt to repeal Issaquah’s bag ban did not receive enough signatures to make its way onto the August ballot.

Though members from the Save Our Choice effort gathered signatures outside local retailers since the ban went into effect March 1, it appears the organization was not able to muster enough support. The repeal is not listed with the other King County ballot measures to be voted on Aug. 6.

According to the Save Our Choice website, the organization had hoped to have enough people sign its petition to be included in the primary election. Wording on the petition indicates that signatures be returned by the end of June.

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Plastic bag ban repeal effort will not appear on August ballot

July 8, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. July 8, 2013

An attempt to repeal Issaquah’s bag ban did not receive enough signatures to make its way onto the August ballot.

Though members from the Save Our Choice effort gathered signatures outside local retailers since the ban went into effect March 1, it appears the organization was not able to muster enough support. The repeal is not listed with the other King County ballot measures to be voted on Aug. 6.

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