The plastic bag ban was again placed on the Huntington Beach City Council Agenda by Council member Dave Sullivan. The agenda item if approved by the City Council would direct the City Attorney to prepare a ballot measure which would repeal Chapter 5.95 USE OF PLASTIC CARRYOUT BAGS AND RECYCLABLE PAPER of the Huntington Beach Municipal Code (i.e. the Reusable Bag Ordinance) for the November 4, 2014, General Municipal Election ballot to be submitted to the qualified electors of the City of Huntington Beach, California.
A total of 54 speakers chose to speak. Of the 54 speakers, 27 were in favor of putting the issue to repeal the plastic bag ban on the ballot, 20 opposed putting the issue on the ballot, and 7 speakers spoke on a variety of other issues.
Some key issues brought up by speakers who spoke at the City Council Meeting:
The plastic bag ban is a divisive issue in the community and a source of anger.
The Paper Bag Fee is a tax and a bribe to retailers/grocers for their cooperation or silence.
The city took away the right of individuals and businesses to make their own choices of whether or not to use reusable bags.
Results in higher consumer water consumption to wash and sanitize reusable bags.
Many people now shop in surrounding communities resulting in a loss of sales tax.
Plastic bag ban is a feel good policy and government has gone too far.
Put the Repeal of the Plastic Bag Ban on the Ballot and let the people decide.
In a petition filed on November 15, Mr. Craig Keller of Save Our Choice, challenged the ballot title that the City Council approved on October 21 for the newly qualified citizen’s initiative to “REPEAL of Plastic Bag Ban and Forced Bag Charge”. The citizen’s initiative is on the February 11, 2014 ballot. Save Our Choice objected to certain wording in the ballot title and description because they were ambiguous or were words of advocacy that could generate voter prejudice during balloting on the citizen’s initiative ordinance. Continue reading Issaquah Ballot Title Successfully Challenged→
On October 21, 2013 the Issaquah City Council voted to put the newly qualified citizen’s initiative to “REPEAL of Plastic Bag Ban and Forced Bag Charge” on the February 11, 2014 ballot. Giving citizens the opportunity to resolve the ban’s fate.
Thanks to the hard work of Craig Keller, co-founder of Save Our Choice, and a small team of volunteers. More than 15% of all Issaquah voters signed the petition to force the city council to either repeal the ordinance or refer the decision to voters.
Earlier in October, the King County Department of Elections concluded that enough valid signatures were collected to qualify the initiative for the ballot and issued a Certificate of Sufficiency for the Save Our Choice petition to Issaquah City Council. A total of 2626 out of 4266 signatures collected were found to be valid to qualify the initiative.
According to Craig Keller, there is mounting dissatisfaction with ban and the majority on the city council had the power to correct their earlier bad decision. In fact, once the King County Department of Elections certified that the initiative had collected enough valid signatures, the city council could have repealed the ordinance but instead voted to put the issue on the ballot in 2014.
Now residents of Issaquah, Washington will have a voice on whether the plastic bag ban and fee on paper bags will be repealed.