Yakima City Council calls it a year - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima City Council calls it a year

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YAKIMA, Wash- The Yakima city council held its last meeting of the year Tuesday.  They voted on two major issues that will play a big role in the year to come.  The first was an adoption of the 2011 budget and the second was a decision on the redistricting for city council elections.

The council voted not to put the redistricting issue on the February ballot.  It will likely be up for vote in August. 

The long-debated 2011 budget took into account the city's $2 million shortfall.  It resulted in city layoffs and the elimination of seven vacant positions.  About $250,000 of the city's reserves were use to keep the jobs of two firefighters and other fire staff.  The fire department took a three percent pay cut.

The council also had notable developments earlier in the year.  In a surprise announcement during a July council meeting, city manager Dick Zais said he will be retiring.  That re launched the council's debate about whether to change the form of government from the current council-manager to a strong mayor.  They chose to hold a special election in February to decide that issue.

In perhaps the most controversial decision of the year, the council voted in May not to make Everify mandatory.  If they had adopted this system all employees and contractors of the city would have to prove they are in the country legally and have a legal right to work.