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Appeal will be filed in Charter case; may go direct to WA Supreme Court

San Juan Island Attorney Stephanie O'Day, who represented plaintiffs Mike Carlson, Jerrold Gonce and Jeffrey Bossler, in their case challenging the legality of the three voter-approved amendments to the county's Home Rule Charter will file an appeal to Skagit County Superior Court Judge John Meyer's ruling.

Judge Meyer sent a letter, dated February 26, 2013 and released February 27, explaining his ruling upholding the amendments which returned the county to its former way of governance before the charter was enacted. The order has yet to be entered and an appeal cannot be filed until that is done.

Both O'Day and county Prosecutor Randy Gaylord must agree with the order which will list Judge's specific ruling on the seven different causes of action in the plaintiff's suit and the motions filed by the prosecutor.

O'Day said, "I'm thankful the Judge got this out in time for an appeal. Constitutional issues often go up on appeal."

She said the core issue is the ballot measures were misleading and confusing to voters.

She will file the appeal in the state Court of Appeals and request direct action which would take the case directly to the Washington Supreme Court. Some of the issues are gray areas of the law which have never been decided in the state of Washington, O'Day said.

Prosecutor Randy Gaylord issued the following statement: I am pleased that Judge Meyer upheld the will of the voters. Judge Meyer recognized the ability of the voters to make informed decisions about their government. He was impressed with the high level of interest and commitment to good government here in San Juan County."

"We are now halfway through a short transition period. I call upon the people of our community to rally around this decision and the charter changes and focus their efforts on getting to know the six candidates who will be on the ballot in the April election."

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