A spokesman for the group wanting to change the Yakima City Charter to allow a strong mayor form of government says they'll hold off asking the current Yakima City Council to resubmit a vote on the charter change for November of 2020. Instead Bruce Smith says he Dave Edler and Mike Leita will ask the newly formed council in early 2020 to place the issue on the November 2020 ballot. Smith says state law or the state constitution requires city-sponsored charter changes to be voted on in November. On Tuesday The Yakima City Council cancelled a vote that was set for February of 2020.
The council made the decision Tuesday after two lawsuits were filed against the city by Columbia Legal Services on behalf of two local voters. The suits challenge the proposed change and are supported Columbia Legal Services, the American Civil Liberties Union-Washington and the UCLA Voting Rights Project. Smith says since the proposed change is a city project the city is responsible for defending the lawsuits.