Yakima Central Plaza added to ballot with 4-3 vote - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Central Plaza added to ballot with 4-3 vote

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YAKIMA, WA - The drama surrounding the controversial Yakima Central Plaza just won't go away, and soon the public could let the City Council know how they feel about the project.

Last night, there were some intense exchanges at the City Council meeting after Councilman Jason White made a motion to put the issue up for an advisory vote in the general election.

"I feel that 506 donors have more right to our support in 2018 than the three PDP plaintiffs," said Brad Hill, District 6. "An advisory vote is a delay tactic." 

An advisory vote is just that: a way for the City to gauge how the public feels about the Yakima Central Plaza. It wouldn't kill the project that's been in the works for the past five years.

But Bruce Smith, owner of the Yakima Valley Business Times, is one of the three plaintiffs who's been threatening to sue the City if they move along with the project, saying that's very hard outside of a core group of people in the general population to find people who support the plaza.

"It's not a binding vote," Smith said. "In Washington State you really can't have a binding vote. It's an advisory vote, and what are they (the city council) afraid of?"

Councilman White's motion to potentially put the plaza up for an advisory vote passed with a 4-3 vote. Carmen Mendez, Brad Hill, and Mayor Kathy Coffey voted no.

Smith was also asked; if there is an advisory vote in November and the public approves of the plaza, would his group push through with their lawsuit? He said no, that he would side with the will of the people and he hopes the City Council will do the same if the vote is against the Yakima Central Plaza.

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