The recent actions by the Pierce County Council and executive fit the narrative: a project, perceived as waste (but apparently OK when originally approved), a citizen fighting it, city hall fighting back and another branch suspending it. Regardless of the executive's advocacy or how one feels about it, the council's action still leaves unanswered the appropriate question: When is a referendum applicable?
Perhaps, as test cases, referendums can now be filed to (1) mandate the County Council to accept the people's decision on I-502 to permit and regulate marijuana businesses, (2) mandate budget adjustments to enable ample law enforcement staffing in the field, (3) same with code enforcement to remove blight, (4) fix county elected officials salary to 110 percent of the average Pierce County income and (5) prohibit embellishments of a sectarian nature in county buildings, for starters. Controversial? You bet. Legitimate grievances? Absolutely.
It will be interesting if the council honors the voice of the people or acts as a gatekeeper, taking votes to decide whether to sue the citizen filing a referendum if deemed disagreeable. This entire episode has become a circus masquerading as governance, and will continue until some leadership emerges to call the question.