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FILE — The Yakima City Council begin its meeting Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, at City Hall in Yakima, Wash. The agenda included a discussion on a change to a strong-mayor form of government.

To the editor — The ease with which the proposal for strong mayor was shot-down from being strategically placed on a low-voter turnout ballot is not simply a technical "bump in the road" for its proponents. It is glaring evidence that the proposal's process and premise have been deeply flawed since its inception. Power in crafting the charter change has been placed in the hands of a few hasty individuals (one of whom wants to be the mayor), who have cavalierly dismissed the benefits of public debate and cautious, open decision-making. Four councilors were not even willing to publicly state the basis for their votes. Proponents worked with city staff in a harried fashion and provided a private attorney's paid review as conclusive "proof" that all was well. Our own city attorney looked asleep at the wheel, focused on a gray area of the OPMA I proposed a charter review committee to Council. Members would be appointed by the council to draft charter changes in good faith. An additional salary review committee would set the mayor's salary. This would not mean the city is insulated from a lawsuit. But the charter change process would be more transparent and reduce the painfully blatant level of cronyism.

LIZ HALLOCK

Yakima