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The City of Sequim has been researching the requirements and feasibility for a comprehensive Metropolitan Park District since before 2010. Sequim has been considering a comprehensive metropolitan park district which would include SARC, the Sequim School District, tennis and pickle ball facilities, the Boys and Girls Club and many other recreational interests as expressed by the community through a series of public input processes.
The law regulating the formation of a metropolitan park district is found primarily in RCW 35.61 and in RCW 35.21.005. A metropolitan park district has been called one of the most powerful forms of government in the State. All metropolitan park districts are perpetual and may levy up to $0.75 per $1,000 of assessed land and home valuation. Petitions to form such powerful governmental entities are required to comply with the strict guidelines set forth by the State Legislature. It is one of the many duties of the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney to represent the County Auditor in determining the legal validity of any petition. This is not an optional duty.
When the City reviewed the filed petition, it was noted there was a deficiency in the WARNING language of the petition. The City assumes that the Prosecuting Attorney would review the above cited statutes. A sufficiency determination on a petition form which does not comply with the statutory sufficiency mandates could either be determined invalid or the Auditor, through the Prosecuting Attorney, could file a Declaratory Judgment Action to have a Superior Court Judge declare the law and its applicability to the petition. The City of Sequim wishes that the law be followed. The validity of the SARC Metropolitan Park District petition will be determined by a Superior Court Judge. Part of the sufficiency statute is below:
RCW 35.21.005 Sufficiency of petitions.
Wherever in this title petitions are required to be signed and filed, the following rules shall govern the sufficiency thereof:…
(2) Petitions shall be printed or typed on single sheets of white paper of good quality and each sheet of petition paper having a space thereon for signatures shall contain the text or prayer of the petition and the following warning:
WARNINGEvery person who signs this petition with any other than his or her true name, or who knowingly signs more than one of these petitions, or signs a petition seeking an election when he or she is not a legal voter, or signs a petition when he or she is otherwise not qualified to sign, or who makes herein any false statement, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Each signature shall be executed in ink or indelible pencil and shall be followed by the name and address of the signer and the date of signing.