Thurston County Commissioners decided earlier this week not to submit a ballot measure for the November 2017 election for the creation of a cultural arts, stadium, and convention district.

The Board of County Commissioners voted 3-0 to eschew the move, one day after a public hearing where commissioners considered written and public testimony from citizens.

 “Thurston County needs an event center,” said Bud Blake, commission chair. “But based on feedback from citizens, we would like to continue the conversation with other jurisdictions and community partners.”

 While Wednesday’s decision keeps it off the ballot in November, a proposal for the creation of a cultural arts, stadium, and convention district could be possible in 2018.

 “Recognizing the time constraints of state legislation, we decided not to move forward with a proposal at this time,” said Commissioner Gary Edwards. “After the public hearing and all the feedback received prior to that, it is clear that more time is needed to get all the facts so our region can make an informed decision.”

 The Commissioners decided to leave the possibility of a ballot measure in the 2018 general election because they believe a cultural arts, stadium, or convention center can be an economic development resource for the region.

 “We’re not saying no to the district, but more time is needed to facilitate a regional conversation, and that is what this process is all about,” said Commission Vice-Chair John Hutchings. “There is still considerable community support for this vision.”