Reacting quickly to bad news, local conservative activist Mike Fagan has re-drafted initiatives aimed to neutralize Spokane Mayor Mary Verner's attempts to make the city more sustainable.
The initiatives, which were first considered by the City Council two weeks ago, were derailed last week when Mike Piccolo, an assistant city attorney, wrote that the initiatives would likely be challenged in court.
Today, Fagan says he's performed the necessary fixes to the initiatives, has filed them with the city clerk and will begin collecting signatures.
"We did take Mr. Piccolo's recommendations to heart. … We want to make sure that we minimize, if not neutralize, the chance for a legal challenge," Fagan says. "We did not incorporate all the changes recommended by Mr. Piccolo, but he did point out some things … that made us go back and give a legal look of our own."
Mainly, Fagan says he has written the new initiatives in a way that "steers away from any sense of multiple subjects," a criticism Piccolo had of both initiatives. As for another criticism by Piccolo — that the initiatives couldn't enforce how the city or its departments joins associations, specifically the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, or ICLEI — Fagan says he has found "an old, obscure RCW" that says his group can do such a thing.
Fagan filed the initiatives on behalf of the Spokane Patriots, a group that splintered from the Tea Party of Spokane earlier this year due to the Tea Party's lack of action, or "analysis paralysis," as Fagan calls it. The Patriots are aligned with other local "liberty-minded" organizations, which Fagan says will help collect the signatures needed to reach the ballot.
"I have a high level of confidence that we're not going to have a problem getting the signatures," Fagan says.