Anti-light-rail group yet to file lawsuit

By Stephanie Rice, Columbian Vancouver city government reporter

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A group of petitioners failed Friday to follow through on a pledge that they would file a lawsuit against the city of Vancouver and Clark County.

State initiative king Tim Eyman said Tuesday the group would file a lawsuit Friday in Clark County Superior Court.

On Friday morning, Eyman released a copy of the proposed lawsuit against Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey and Vancouver City Clerk Lloyd Tyler, who also serves as the city's chief financial officer.

The proposed lawsuit by Snohomish County attorney Stephen Pidgeon challenges state laws governing the local petition process, and argues some signatures should not have been deemed invalid, for example those from people who signed the petition more than once. One signature should count, plaintiffs argue.

Light-rail opponents worked for more than two years to gather enough signatures to petition the council for a public vote on light rail.

In April 2012, they were told their effort failed. But under the Vancouver city charter, they were given extra time to collect additional signatures.

Last month, they learned their petition fell 32 signatures short of the 5,472-signature requirement.

More than 8,000 signatures were tossed, including all those from people who signed the petition multiple times.

On Friday morning, Eyman said the lawsuit may be filed next week.

The group has been trying to raise $20,000 to retain Pidgeon.