WILSONVILLE CITIZENS FOR SAFE WATER
On Sept. 21, 1999 Wilsonville voters approved a
measure which changed the City Charter to require a vote of the people before
Willamette River water can be used as a drinking water source. The city
refuses to allow this vote, claiming that a revenue bond funding measure which
was also approved on the same date satisfies the required future vote of the
people. Wilsonville CFSW filed a lawsuit to force the city to comply with
the Charter amendment, and allow a vote of the citizens. The Wilsonville
city attorney filed a motion with the court to throw the lawsuit out. On
May 1st, 2000, CFSW's legal council filed a response to the city attorney's
action. To view the response, click on: Response.
On May 22nd. 2000 arguments were heard by Judge Eve Miller, who ruled against the City of Wilsonville with her decision that the lawsuit had validity. The case was then heard on September 18, 2000 by Clackamas County Circuit Court judge Robert Herndon. On Oct. 27, 2000 Herndon ruled in favor of the City of Wilsonville. Citizens for Safe Water appealed the case, and the appeal arguments were heard April 30, 2002. The three-judge panel, headed by Associate Judge Walt Edmonds, along with judges Kissler and Armstrong, is expected to rule within 60 days.
In July 2001 Wilsonville CFSW filed a second initiative petition with the city, which, if passed, would change the city charter to require a future majority vote of the people before treated Willamette River water could be used as a drinking water source. Unlike their previous petition which changed their city charter, this one required that the vote take place after the effective date of the city charter amendment, and also stated the specific question which would be depicted on the ballot. The City of Wilsonville refused to approve the petition, and a lawsuit was filed by CFSW. The Wilsonville city attorney filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which was thrown out by the judge. On April 30 oral arguments were given by Citizens for Safe Water attorney Dan Meek and Wilsonville City Attorney Michael Kohlhoff to Clackamas County Circuit Court judge John Lowe.
The treatment plant which was built in Wilsonville on the Willamette river, began operation April 29, 2002.