Clay Chastain is trying to get light-rail measure on the August ballot

02/28/2014 4:07 PM

02/28/2014 7:44 PM

Clay Chastain’s massive light-rail ballot proposal on Friday moved a step closer toward further legal review in Jackson County Circuit Court.

A lawyer for Chastain’s supporters filed a motion seeking a swift trial date on legal questions that remain after a Missouri Supreme Court ruling earlier this month. The motion says Chastain’s supporters want the measure on the Aug. 5 ballot.

Chastian gathered enough petition signatures in 2011 to seek voter approval for a 3/8-cent sales tax for 25 years to pay partial costs of a 22-mile light-rail line, a 19-mile commuter rail line and an 81/2-mile streetcar line.

The City Council declined to put it on an election ballot, saying the measure was unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court ruled the proposed ordinance language wasn’t unconstitutional because it merely raised money and did not require the city to actually implement Chastain’s transit project. The high court sent the case back to a Jackson County judge to further consider Chastain’s arguments for putting it on an election ballot.

Attorney Jeffrey Carey wrote in his motion that Chastain’s supporters want the measure before voters on Aug. 5, but the city “has indicated that it will not voluntarily place the matter on the ballot in its current form.”

The deadline to get something on the Aug. 5 ballot is May 27, so Carey is asking for a trial and ruling before that time.

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