Good news: After stifling new development for nearly a decade, the Pendleton City Council has voted to
repeal the plan known as the River Quarter Overlay. Although described as "a good plan" by one council
 member, its failure confirmed that it really wasn't good for anyone except the consultants that drew up 
all the plans.

More good news: Cost overruns on the Eighth Street Bridge replacement project, caused by the Pendleton
 Enhancement Project (PEP), should be a thing of the past now that its director has resigned and the
 relocation of the old bridge to Main Street has been abandoned. Hopefully, donations for the project will be used to cover those cost increases, and hopefully the Pendleton Development Commission (PDC)/City 
Council will step up, dispose of the old bridge, and put this rather bad idea to rest once and for all. After 
all, with 22 city parks to maintain, facilities like the Round-Up and Happy Canyon stadiums, the 
Convention Center, Recreation Center, and the Vert Auditorium all at our disposal, do we really need
 more?

Not so good news: With the formation of the North Bank Umatilla Advisory Committee, city officials will
 be shifting their focus away from the River Walkway over to the north side of the Umatilla River,
 attempting again to limit any new economic development and instead turning the area into a wildlife 
refuge. Other Oregon cities are seeking authority to limit deer populations within their borders because
 of the problems they create. Our city officials are taking the opposite approach putting any problems
 created on future generations.

The bad news: The Feds have given the thumbs down on the city's request for $26 million to redo Exit
 209. Perhaps they are aware of the way the Eighth Street Bridge project has been mishandled, or maybe they 
felt the proposed redesign of the exit offered little in a long-term solution to the congestion problem.
 Who knows? It looks like we'll be relying on our "consulting agency" to sort it all out.

Other news: On the economic development front, city financial support beyond that for the downtown
 association's pub crawl is being proposed for a Wild West Brew Fest. Rumors persist that a "pot"
 festival is coming. It may be time for Chief Roberts and AA to consider staffing up for an increase in business.

Rick Rohde

Pendleton

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