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People can now vote on Yakima's Downtown Plaza

People can now vote on Yakima's Downtown Plaza

YAKIMA, Wa. -- You will now have the opportunity to voice your decision of Yakima’s Downtown Plaza during the November 6 general elections.

On June 19 city council approved a motion to submit the question on the ballot, of whether the city should construct a community plaza.

“I think it undermines the authority of the council but I think that’s exactly what we need is undermine the authority and to give a little bit of that authority back to the people,” said councilman Jason White.

City staff prepared an advisory vote ballot measure with the language saying, “Should the City of Yakima construct a community plaza on City Parking Lot No. 2 directly west of the Capitol Theater?”

The language of the measure was approved by council during Tuesday’s business meeting which means the measure will now be sent to the Auditor’s office and be placed in the ballot for vote.

White says he is happy to give the public the opportunity to decide on the downtown plaza because that will make business owners who are against it to drop the lawsuit against the city.

Councilwoman Kay Funk who is also in favor of the motion says she respects all the money that was raised for the plaza but she is still concerned with the city’s finances.

“An advisory vote gives voters the chance to tell us where they stand on it,” said Funk.

Other councilmembers including Brad Hill, Carmen Mendez and Mayor Kathy Coffey voted against leaving the decision to the community.

Mendez says she believes the plaza is a good investment for the city and more money could be wasted if it isn’t built.

“The donors to get their money back, that will be an expense to the city,” said Mendez.

White says now the only thing left to do is wait for November and see what people decide.

The second plaza item on the agenda for designs and construction plans, was postponed until at least November 13.

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