By Jack Mayne Although the Burien City Council failed on Monday to repeal the city sanctuary law or place it on the November ballot â€“ apparently violating state law â€“ there still may be a chance for the Council to do the right thing. City Manager Brian Wilson said on Wednesday (Aug. 2) that King County Elections likely would be able to place the issue on the ballot, adding that there are a number of confusing and conflicting problems with the current law that would permit adding the issue after the Aug. 1 deadline. â€œOnce Initiative No. 1 was certified by King County Elections, the city was required to take one of two actions; either adopt the legislation as set forth in the initiative petition, or adopt a resolution requesting that it be placed on the general election ballot for November 7, 2017,â€ Wilson said in an email to this writer. Wilson said the â€œoption to do nothing was considered by staff,â€ but it was rejected on advice of City Attorney Lisa Marshall and â€œthe potential legal exposure to the city.â€ Wilson said state law â€œidentifies the schedule and date by which the second option above must be taken, however there is a conflict in the governing statutes. The law that sets forth dates for the conduct of primaries and passage of resolutions placing measures on the general election ballot states that resolutions must be submitted to County Elections by August 1st. â€œHowever, in another area of the law, it states that the resolution must be submitted to county elections within 90 days of the general election, or no earlier than August 7th.â€ He said to â€œremove all doubt that the city acted in a timely manner, staff recommended options for the Council to consider; including passage of a resolution on July 31, 2017 to place Initiative 1 on the general election ballot.” City still exposed The city manager said that while King County Elections has indicated it will accept Resolution 395 if submitted on August 8, â€œthe City is still exposed to legal risk and a potential legal challenge from a third party.â€ â€œIf the Council does not take action on Initiative No. 1, a taxpayer may file a lawsuit against the city in Superior Court to obtain an order that an â€˜election will take place for the purpose of voting upon the proposed ordinance if the court finds the petition to be sufficient.â€™” King County Elections certified the petition as having sufficient signatures on July 21. â€œAs representatives of the Council, staff makes recommendations that minimize as much as possible the legal risk to the city,â€ Wilson said. â€œThese recommendations were included in the agenda packet (Monday) evening.â€ He noted a motion â€œremains open on the Council floor to approve Resolution 395 at the August 7th Council meeting. â€œAt this time, we are preparing for the meeting and providing additional information to Council for consideration prior to the August 7th Council meeting.â€]]>
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