By Peg Manning
There are currently pending in our courts no fewer than three lawsuits that are—or should be—of interest to the County’s citizens, yet they have received little coverage in the traditional press and are nowhere to be found on the County’s website or newsletters.
Two challenge, on Constitutional and other grounds, the recent revamping of our Charter; the third, which is unrelated, alleges violations of the Open Meeting Act by members of the prior Council, including a candidate currently seeking election, principally in relation to the critical areas ordinance. The judge assigned the state court challenge to the Charter changes will soon be hearing motions for partial summary judgment. (The second suit against the Charter changes, and in particular the dilution in the rights of voters on Orcas and San Juan Islands vis-a-vis those on Lopez, is pending in federal court in Seattle.)
All of the pleadings in all three cases are of public record and readily available. The legal claims are not particularly complicated, and the facts are for the most part undisputed, yet the issues are vitally important and warrant coverage.