Community Demands Transparency on Public Land Transfer

The Redmond City Council’s recent decision to transfer public land in downtown Redmond to Plymouth Housing, a non-profit organization with over $321 million in assets, has sparked outrage among community members. Despite repeated inquiries, the council has failed to provide a legal justification for the free land transfer, raising concerns about transparency and accountability.

On March 19, residents packed the council meeting room to voice their frustration over the hasty approval process, which took only seven days. One common concern was the lack of clarity surrounding the legal grounds for giving away public land to a private entity. While questions were raised during the meeting and follow-up emails were sent, the council has remained silent, fueling suspicions about the legality of the transfer.

During the special meeting on February 13, when the motion to approve the land transfer was made by Council President Vanessa Kritzer and seconded by Councilmember Malissa Stuart, no questions were asked about the laws permitting such a transfer. ‘One would expect the councilmembers to have the answer at their fingertips,’ said a concerned resident. ‘On the contrary, they seem to struggle to come up with a legal justification for their decision.’

Community members have vowed to continue pressing the council until they receive a satisfactory explanation. ‘The council’s complete silence or lack of response to this essential and valid question from community members has raised red flags about the legality of the land transfer,’ said another resident, echoing the sentiment of many in attendance. With the council’s lack of transparency on this issue, tensions are mounting, and residents are determined to hold their elected officials accountable.

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