Ryder was right to wait

June 30th, 2015 by Ken

Lacey mayor Andy Ryder has been an effective mayor.  He’s usually scripted and ready for just about anything.   But recently the mayor was caught off guard.

Case in point is the recent flap over a plastic bag ban in Lacey.   Last month, the Lacey City Council voted to uphold the plastic bag ban by a 4-3 vote, with the mayor voting in favor.   The swing vote on the council was Michael Steadman.

Steadman had said on more than one occasion that he wanted to find out the feelings of the public on the issue, but didn’t want to put a measure on the November ballot because it cost too much money – some $2500.

At its last council meeting, a group of individuals offered to give the city $2500 to pay the cost of the election.

Mayor Ryder said such an action was highly unusual and opted to wait until the full council could have another discussion on the matter.

The city attorney said that he didn’t think accepting the money was wrong – but perhaps there needed to be a policy put in place before the city took the money.

Ryder isn’t often caught unaware.   Lacey City Manager Scott Spence usually does a good job of keeping him informed.

But a citizen group providing money for an election is highly unusual.

Ryder was right to wait.   The city needs to know all of the ramifications of its action.  But accepting the money for the cost of the election seems to be a way to satisfy the council’s desire to know what the public thinks about the plastic bag ban.

The council shouldn’t wait too long to take action on the offer.  The deadline for getting the measure on the fall ballot is approaching.

Posted in Business, Government, History, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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