A Court Order Helps Keep The Lid On Yakima’s Council Confrontation
Tonight's Yakima City Council meeting had a familiar feel to it. 2nd District Councilman Jason White was missing from the horseshoe. However, he was in attendence, only on the phone because a Temporary Order for Protection filed by Councilwoman Soneya Lund prophibited his in-person attendence since she was in council chambers.
The meeting was fairly short and conducted without incident, unlike the last meeting on July 6 when the meeting concluded with Councilman White asking the rest of the council to begin official censure proceedings against Councilwoman Lund.
The council felt White's list of charges were an inapproriate personal attack and didn't belong in a council meeting setting. His motion died for lack of a second and the meeting adjourned.
The Beef Goes On
So how, two weeks later, did Lund end up in court and White end up on the phone? According to Councilwoman Lund, she had a surprise and upsetting encounter with a man outside of her workplace. According to her account, the unidentified man asked if she was Councilmember Lund and when she confirmed she was, the man allegedly said that Jason White says "Hi" and something along the line of she needed to be put in place, or words to that effect.
Lund says that encounter and the number of calls she recieved from other women claiming they had ben harassed by White as well, were the determining factors in her decision to seek an order of protection fron harassment..
Councilwoman Lund presented her case yesterday and a judge granted a two week order setting an August 2nd date for a follow up.
Questions to consider - Is Jason White's release of the recorded private conversation -that he says is evidence- being investigated by the City or County legal? Has a decision on any aspect been reached? Are there damaging texts, allegedly sent by Lund, that have been or need to be investigated for potential crimes? Will anything become of this or will it blow over as "small town politics"? Will it affect the voting public in their willingness to participate in the governmental process?
The Order of Protection hearing is sheduled to take place Monday August 2nd,which is the day before the next City Council Meeting, and the August 3rd council meeting date also happens to be Primary Election Day. Before youvote, you may want to ask the candidates about where they stand on ethics, civility, and proper council deportment in service of the people they were elected to serve.