An ordinance that would have set up a public advisory vote on Pierce County’s proposed new $127 million headquarters died in a deadlock Tuesday afternoon.
A 3-3 tie among County Council members means Councilman Dan Roach’s effort to put an advisory vote on the ballot is dead for the moment. Had the ordinance passed, voters would have had a chance to weigh in on the Aug. 4 ballot.
The council originally voted 4-3 in February to move ahead with the building plan. Tuesday’s brief reconsideration of the topic lacked one key member: Councilwoman Joyce McDonald, who cast the deciding vote in February, was absent.
Roach sent out a press release shortly after Tuesday’s no-decision, saying he would continue to pursue an advisory vote.
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“Unfortunately, we didn’t have a majority of council members present to support letting the people have a say in how their money is spent,” he said.
With the ordinance not moving forward, the debate now moves to Pierce County Superior Court, where activists seeking a referendum on the building plan face a lawsuit from other activists, challenging the legality of the referendum petition. The next hearing on that case is scheduled for Friday.