Walla Walla City Hall

The third meeting in the Walla Walla City Council’s town hall series will take place Thursday, but it may not be the last of its kind.

Community discussions on police practices and policies, sparked in part by the officer-caused death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the Walla Walla Police Department’s tattoo policies, have been so valuable that Councilwoman Yazmin Bahena suggested keeping the platform going during a Council work session Monday.

“I would definitely like to continue these conversations,” she said.

Mayor Tom Scribner agreed the suggestion was wise and could be followed up during the Thursday session.

The 6:30 p.m. special meeting will take place via digital platform Zoom. It is the culminating conversation among Council members after a July 9 town hall on police policies, practices and funding, as well as legal issues around officer tattoos, and a July 23 meeting focused on public testimony on all of those matters, as well as public statues.

The meeting brings Scribner, City Manager Nabiel Shawa, Police Chief Scott Bieber and City Council members back to the table.

They will each speak on the concerns brought up through emails and public comments and offer suggestions for how these issues should be addressed.

Time at the end of the meeting will be given for replies, thoughts and responses to what the other speakers said. There will be no public comment received at this meeting, Scribner said.

Bieber has been working on an outline of his comments and discussed them with the city manager and members of the Council, Scribner said.

No action items are planned, though Council may direct staff on the subjects.

The series has illustrated the division in the community over funding for public services and law enforcement policies as the nation grapples with race, reparations and moving forward.

A live video stream of the electronic meeting can be viewed from the City’s website at ubne.ws/townhall. The public can also attend by clicking here: us02web.zoom.us/j/82391531051 or calling 253-215-8782 and entering meeting ID 823 9153 1051#.

 

Chloe LeValley covers the cities of Walla Walla and College Place as well as agriculture and the environment in the Walla Walla Valley. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University and joined the Union-Bulletin's team in October 2019.