PORT ANGELES – For lack of a tie-breaking vote, the first reading of a controversial proposal put forth by Port Angeles City Councilman Mike French did not advance at Tuesday’s council meeting, but the proposal probably isn’t going away.
As we reported Tuesday, French’s proposed ordinance would repeal current requirements that force new businesses and home builders to provide a minimum number of off-street parking spaces for their buildings. It would potentially save a lot of money for anyone building a new home or business, but could also reduce the ratio of cars to parking spaces downtown.
Because council member Kate Dexter was not present, the six member council split the vote 3 to 3 on whether to formally present the proposal, with French, Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin and Mayor Sissi Bruch in favor, and Cherie Kidd, Jim Moran and Michael Meredith voting against.
Here’s French in his own words about what happened, and what happens next.
“I tried to introduce it as a late item and the rest of the council was interested in going through a different process for that. And so they had a lot of objections to the process part, which I understand like, you know, one of the points that I made was I only have two ways to get items on an agenda as just a regular council person. I’m not the mayor. And those two ways are, introducing a late item or asking the mayor to place it on the agenda. And so I chose one and I’ll try the next for our next meeting because it did not advance. And so my next step is I’ll ask the mayor to place it on the next agenda, which she has that choice. Whether she wants to or not…my feeling is, she probably does want to because she was mostly supportive of the policy.”
French believes the first reading of his proposal would have occurred if Dexter had been present to vote, saying he believes she supports it.
Mayor Bruch was not available to comment on whether she will include the proposal on the council’s agenda in two weeks.
You can read the proposed ordinance by clicking here.
Photo: Back row left to right-Cherie Kidd, Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin, Michael Meredith, Mike French. Front row-Jim Moran, Sissi Bruch, Kate Dexter.