The Des Moines City Council is withdrawing its membership from the Puget Sound Regional Council as of July 1.
Following a heated exchange, lawmakers voted 4-3 to withdraw from the organization that deals with transportation planning among other issues in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.
Councilman Scott Thomassen, Councilman Dave Kaplan, Councilman Ed Pena and Councilwoman Carmen Scott voted to end the city’s membership in the regional council.
Mayor Bob Sheckler, Mayor Pro Tem Dan Sherman and Councilwoman Susan White voted for Des Moines to remain with the organization.
July 1 was selected as the date because Des Moines is involved in a passenger ferry feasibility study the regional council is conducting. That study is to be concluded in June.
“The council as a whole, the majority, felt that there was no need to participate in it because they didn’t feel that there was any advantage to being a member of the Puget Sound Regional Council,” Sheckler observed after the meeting.
Others, including White, said it was important for Des Moines to remain in the organization.
White is actively involved in bringing passenger ferry service to the city and serves on a regional council committee for passenger ferries.
“By being on the PSRC we have a stake at the table or say at the table regarding the development of a possible Des Moines passenger ferry.”
But the majority didn’t agree, arguing that withdrawing the regional council membership will not impede passenger ferries from possibly coming to Des Moines in the future.
In other business, the city council considered access restrictions to Eighth Avenue South that would affect commercial property.
No action was taken.
Lawmakers referred the item to the Public Safety and Transportation Committee, which will consider alternatives for the street.”
“All this came about because some development on Marine View Drive had ingress and egress on Eighth Avenue South, Sheckler said.
That street was not designed for that,” he observed.
The council also awarded a contract to repair damage from three landslides in the city to Construct Company.
In light of Des Moines’ 50th anniversary as a city next year, the council considered updating the city logo.
Instead of an update, however, lawmakers decided to retain Des Moines’ original logo.