A lawsuit against the mayor, city council and city clerk of Eureka Springs, was filed in civil court on Nov. 12.
The suit, brought by Pat Matsukis, Karen Lindblad, Rae Hahn, Lany Balance and Charley Wurmnest, asks for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief caused by Ordinance 2106, passed on July 1 of this year, which waived competitive bidding on coin-operated parking meters and included an emergency clause allowing their purchase.
The suit, which seeks approximately $40,000 for parking meters and the labor used in their installation, also claims that the defendants refused to certify and place the matter for a referendum vote, which should be scheduled for an emergency hearing with preference given by the court to be heard as soon as possible.
The suit states that the ordinance was approved by the council, and signed by the mayor and city clerk, without proper notice and publication as required by law.
A petition for referendum to refer the ordinance to voters was attached to the filing, calling for a special election no later that 60 days after signatures are certified by the clerk, More than 100 persons signed the petition, and exceed more than 15 percent of the votes cast in the last mayoral election.
The suit states that the parking meters were installed immediately or shortly after the passage of the ordinance, primarily around the Western District Courthouse. The suit calls for the court to find that the installation of the meters violates historic district commission guidelines as they constitute new construction without requisite HDC approval and a Level Three hearing.
It also violates state law, the complaint says. ACA 14-57-502 states that "Any municipal ordinance authorizing the installation of parking meters shall not be subject to an emergency clause" nor the limit the rights of the people under the referendum amendment to the state's constitution.