Rail foes will fight ruling on signatures
Anti-rail activists think they did not collect enough names to meet the requirement
An anti-rail group plans to head back to court over the number of signatures needed to get a question on the November ballot that would have voters decide the fate of the city's planned $4 billion rail transit system.
Honolulu Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto ruled in favor of the group Stop Rail Now last week, saying City Clerk Denise De Costa erred in rejecting its ballot petition on the basis that a special election could not be included with the general election.
Earle Partington, an attorney for Stop Rail Now, said a notice filed yesterday by Sakamoto clarifies that the group would need about 44,000 signatures, a number equal to 10 percent of the registered voters in the last mayoral election.
Although the group filed its petition with 49,000 signatures, Partington said the final tally, after repeat and invalid signatures are tossed out, is expected to be less than 44,000.
Stop Rail Now contends it needs about 30,000 signatures, an amount equal to 10 percent of the number of votes actually cast in the last mayoral election.
"We'll try to get the court to reconsider or get a final judgment to go to the Supreme Court," Partington said yesterday. "It says very clearly that we only need 10 percent of the voters that voted in the last general mayoral election, not 10 percent of those registered."
He said he expects to file a motion Monday.
Stop Rail Now's petition is separate from a measure passed by the City Council this week that also would give voters a say in whether the rail project proceeds.
The City Council measure would create a City Charter amendment with the question, "Shall the powers, duties, and functions of the city, through its director of transportation services, include establishment of a steel wheel on steel rail transit system?"
Mayor Mufi Hannemann signed the City Council's proposal yesterday.
Stop Rail Now's proposal would ask voters, "Shall an ordinance be adopted to prohibit rail or trains for a mass-transit system?"