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O’Rourke Defends City on Process of Developing Downtown Plan




Yakima City Manager Tony O’Rourke is defending how the City has handled the process of putting together a Downtown Master Plan.  On “The Mike Bastinelli Show,” O’Rourke took issue with some critics who have said the city has not allowed for enough public input.
“We’ve had 3 public hearings, multiple stakeholders groups that consist of almost 700 people. That’s a lot of public outreach and we’re still available to continue to inform the public about what is going on. It’s their community, they should be informed.

O’Rourke says the Downtown Master Plan can be seen on the cities website and if anyone has any questions they can call his office and talk to him directly.

He also has a word for critics of revitalizing downtown, ” you listen to them, but if we just did what they wanted to do we would continue to go backwards. Yakima is not at a place where it can declare victory. Status quo is not adequate, people want improvement and that is what we’re here for.”

The Yakima City Council will hold a public meeting on the Downtown Master
Plan Tuesday during the regular city council meeting which starts at 6 pm. Specifically the council will review a plan to turn a parking lot in front of the Capital Theatre into a downtown plaza and move the parking to other nearby lots.

O’Rourke says a recent citizen survey found that 90 percent of citizens want the city involved in economic development. O’Rourke says in addition to downtown revitalization the city is working on improving North First Street, the mill site project, improving roads throughout the city and improving the Yakima Airport.

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