At tonight’s meeting, the City Council has taken three actions regarding the litigation over the City’s traffic camera program. The first action is to authorize an appeal of the Superior Court’s recent ruling. While the Superior Court correctly ruled that most of Monroe Initiative No. 1 was invalid, the City respectfully disagrees both with the court’s decision to sever Section 3 of the initiative and with its anti-SLAPP ruling. The only purpose for seeking a Declaratory Judgment by the Court was to determine whether the proposed initiative should be placed on the election ballot; the City did not seek injunctive or monetary relief against any party, and certainly did not aim to interfere with any person’s public participation rights. Other court cases involving the validity of similar initiative proposals concerning local traffic camera programs, as well as the proper interpretation of the anti-SLAPP law, are currently pending in the state appellate courts. The City is hopeful and confident that the Superior Court’s decision will be overturned on appeal.
The second action taken by the Council is to adopt Ordinance No. 006/2012, which contains the unaltered text of Section 3 of Monroe Initiative No. 1 and provides for an advisory vote on the City’s traffic camera program at the next general election. The City has adopted this measure under a full reservation of right.
The final action is to pass Resolution No. 2012-009, which clarifies the City’s intent to repeal Ordinance No. 006/2012 if the City’s judicial appeal is successful. The City already held an advisory vote on its camera program in November 2011; holding another nonbinding vote on the same topic would be unnecessary at this time.
The City’s camera program was adopted by the Monroe City Council in 2007. Although the City Council presently includes no members who were in office during that time, the current Council shares one overriding goal with its predecessors: To protect and act in the best interests of the Monroe citizens whom they have the privilege of serving. This concern encompasses a broad range of issues, from ensuring the safety of our school zones, to responsibly safeguarding the City’s finances, to honoring the City’s written agreements with other parties. This is the reason the City originally enacted its traffic camera program in 2007. It is the reason the City sought a court determination regarding the validity of Monroe Initiative No. 1. It is the reason the City voluntarily held an advisory vote regarding the camera program in 2011. And it is the reason the City has decided to appeal the Superior Court’s ruling.