Not enough votes to overturn Monte mayor’s veto of downtown plan

MONTESANO — The Montesano City Council was unable to muster enough votes Tuesday night to overturn the mayor’s veto of the downtown plan.

Last week, Mayor Ken Estes vetoed the downtown plan after several issues came to light, including the fact that the city’s paid consultant who developed the plan had copyrighted all of the images, preventing the plan from going into the public domain and being used by other cities, such as Aberdeen, which was interested in looking to see if what Montesano developed could be done in Aberdeen.

“I have spoken to several entrepreneurs and Realtors who all are concerned with selling and purchasing property,” Estes added in his recent letter to the City Council. “All are troubled by limitations that are similar to what I mentioned in my pre-vote opinion to you on the 8th, which would hinder them from selling and buying properties that could be developed and/or encumber construction of a building, under codes that compliance would never be required by next door grandfathered properties.”

To overturn the veto, five of the seven council members would have needed to vote to overturn it. Only four members voted to overturn it.

Councilman Ken Walkington moved for the council to overturn the veto. Councilman Doug Streeter seconded the motion. Council members Rich Klinger and Pat Herrington also voted to overturn the veto.

But Council members Lyle Powell, Chris Hutchings and Pat McElliott voted against it.

Streeter noted correctly that “Lyle is the man,” since Powell had missed the vote to implement the downtown plan two weeks ago.

Planning Commission Chairman Will Foster says the commission spent years on the plan and now they’re back at square one and will need to meet again to figure out their next steps.