PENDLETON - The Pendleton City Council got revved up over go-carts Tuesday night, deciding 4-3 to deny the concession operator's request to move the track after the Pendleton Round-Up.
Rich Britton has been selling rides on go-carts all summer on the northwest corner of the Pendleton Convention Center parking lot after receiving City Council approval in May. The concession is being removed to accommodate Round-Up parking, but Britton approached the council Tuesday about re-establishing the go-cart track after Round-Up in the southeast corner of the parking lot, along Westgate.
City Manager Larry Lehman recommended allowing Britton to move his business, noting that the city has received no complaints about it and Pat Kennedy, Convention Center manager, said it would not interfere with business.
"It's been a good operation," Lehman said.
But some council members raised a red flag.
Steve Bjerke was the most vocal critic. He said the bales of hay and the unprofessional sign at the entrance to the convention center makes it look like a "cheesy operation."
"If it's going to be there, I think it needs to stay in the back and not be moved to the front," Bjerke said.
Council member Steve Taylor agreed, but Phil Houk argued that the proposed move would not place the go-carts closer to the Convention Center entrance. Houk supported the recommendation, noting that the city was trying to help a business become established.
Gary Tague said the operation's location at the back of the parking lot is probably why there had been no noise complaints. He said he feared moving the go-carts to the front of the lot would increase the chance of it annoying people.
Marjorie Iburg, noting that the go-carts would be running for just another month, supported Lehman's recom- mendation. The city's lease of the 140- by 160-foot section of parking lot allows Britton to set up again Sept. 25-Oct. 30. "I think we should give it a chance for just one month," she said.
Iburg voted to approve the move, along with Houk and John Brenne, who wondered if improving the signs could be a condition of approval.
The request was defeated by Bjerke, Taylor, Tague and Ron Hughes. Council member Connie Wright was absent because she was ill.