Medvigy splits with Bowerman and Rylander on building land report vote

Clark County Council had a busy day Tuesday, with Councilman Gary Medvigy in the unusual position of voting against fellow Republicans Speaker Karen Bowerman and Councilman Richard Rylander Jr.
Bowerman and Rylander abstained from voting on two proclamations. The first proclamation recognizing June 2022 as Pride Month was passed by Medvigy and Councilors Julie Olson and Temple Lentz.
Lentz said the proclamation, the council’s first in support of Pride Month, was “long overdue and very welcome.”
Bowerman said the May 18 council vote to bring the proclamation to a vote in June was interpreted differently by some council members. Bowerman then asked if any council members wanted to “handle this differently” or have their names removed from the signature line on the proclamation.
Neither Bowerman nor Rylander explained why they were abstaining.
The second proclamation in support of Ride Transit Month was also adopted by Olson, Medvigy and Lentz.
Bowerman said the proclamation process would be further refined when the board retreats on June 9.
While Bowerman, Medvigy and Rylander are often aligned on how they vote on issues, voting on the two proclamations wasn’t the only moment of the meeting. Medvigy found himself on the other side of the table from Bowerman and Rylander.
Rylander asked to reconsider a motion approved at the May 18 council meeting that saw the Vacant Building Land report use achieved densities rather than assumed densities. Bowerman and Rylander voted to return to using assumed densities, while Olson, Lentz and Medvigy voted against the change.
Olson then made a motion to make further changes to the supposed percentages included in the report, but Bowerman rejected the motion as there had been no decision to reconsider the board’s previous vote. The board previously voted on one of five changes Olson requested at the May 18 meeting.
When Olson said she thought Bowerman’s ruling was out of order, Bowerman replied, “It’s not, but you are.”
Olson then moved a motion to reconsider the board’s prior vote.
“It troubles me when … our staff say some of these percentages just aren’t supported by evidence,” Medvigy said. “It’s something I know, as a judge, I would never move on.”
Medvigy also said the really challenging step will be using the report to update the county’s comprehensive growth management plan.
Olson, Lentz and Medvigy voted in favor of the changes, Bowerman and Rylander voted against.
The county council then meets at 9 a.m. on June 15. For links to the meeting or an agenda, go to https://clark.wa.gov/councilors.
—Shari Phiel

Shari Phil

Amanda J. Marsh