The Yakima City Council has swapped a shotgun for a laser in terms of its committee structure.

The council cut its committees Tuesday night from dozens down to four: economic development, built environment, public safety and partnerships.

The old structure was “the shotgun approach,” City Manager Tony O’Rourke said.

The new structure “helps align the focus of the council with the city’s strategic priorities,” he said.

The council voted 4-3 to televise committee meetings, which are subject to the state’s open public meetings law. “The people need to know what we’re doing,” said Councilman Dave Ettl.

He joined council members Bill Lover, Rick Ensey and Maureen Adkison in voting for the measure.

State law already requires the city to publish the minutes of all open public meetings.

Having cameras at committee meetings won’t encourage candid conversation and could prompt grandstanding, Councilwoman Kathy Coffey said. Council members Micah Cawley and Sara Bristol joined Coffey in voting against the measure.

A memo from O’Rourke’s office to the council identified committee priorities, including:

Economic development: Downtown revitalization, Boise Cascade Mill site redevelopment and Yakima Air Terminal.

Built environment: North First Street oversight, transportation and neighborhood development.

Public safety: Police and fire services oversight, and Gang Free Initiative.

Partnerships: Legislative issues.

• Dan Catchpole can be reached at 509-759-7850 or Follow him on Twitter at