February 12th, 2013 | by ANDREA DAMEWOOD News | Posted In: Transportation, Environment, Politics

Light Rail in Vancouver Headed to Court

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Vancouver light rail foes haven’t given up the fight to compel the city’s government from spending any resources on extending Portland’s MAX line to Vancouver’s downtown.

Seventy five plaintiffs filed suit against Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey on Monday, challenging a state law that required Kimsey to invalidate duplicate signatures.

“Six hundred and eight Vancouver voters who are qualified, active, registered voters have had their perfectly valid signature rejected, and we’re asking the judge, ‘Do you agree?’” asks Washington initiative king Tim Eyman, who is working with the Vancouver group.

The petition fell just 32 signatures short due to invalid entries, Kimsey found last month. Eyman says the group, represented by Everett lawyer Stephen Pidgeon, hopes to get Kimsey’s invalidations overturned, giving the petition enough signatures to force the Vancouver City Council to put it before voters.

Oral argument is set for 1:30 pm Feb. 20, at the Cowlitz Superior Court in Kelso, Wash.

Light rail to downtown Vancouver is part of the proposed $3.5 billion Columbia River Crossing project, which also includes five miles of Interstate 5 interchanges, new bridges over the Columbia and pedestrian and bicycle improvements.

The suit was filed in Cowlitz County Superior Court to avoid any potential conflicts of interest with local judges, Eyman tells WW. That the petition had so many rejected signatures from those outside city limits and duplicates, he says just shows that “so many frickin’ people wanted to sign, it’s a sign that this initiative is popular.”
 
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