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Charter Review Public Comment, Round 1 Sets the Stage
Last night's Charter Review public hearing went pretty quickly, but based on the comments, it's probably safe to bet that this process won't be without debate. Eight commenters shared their thoughts, among them were some names you might recognize, and some familiar topics, as well.
We heard three speakers including former County Executive John Ladenburg come out in favor of recommending a switch to a strong mayor system of government. A representative from the League of Women Voters voiced the group's strong opposition to such a move.
On the issue of the public utility, Ladenburg spoke in favor of eliminating TPU's separate governing board.
Tom Hilyard, a former Tacoma Public Utility board and charter review committee member, spoke in support of retaining the current structure.
State Representative Steve Kirby spoke in support of maintaining the City's Civil Service Board.
There were also comments in favor of stopping coal trains, and supporting a $15 minimum wage and paid sick leave.
And then there was a comment from Denis Duggan Sr., a recent applicant for the interim Council District 1 seat and a retired engineer. We're not sure we got it exactly clear, but the gist seems to be that he's unhappy with the way the City has treated him in regard to a property he owns and his belief that certain departments won't let him use the Charter as an argument. He has deemed his experience "Chartergate" and is hoping that new language will resolve his concerns.
Possibly the most sweeping recommendation from the commenters came from Ladenburg, who suggested that the committee consider a vote in favor of a whole new charter - one, of course, that adopts the strong mayor form of government and eliminates the TPU board ideas he supports.
What bold new ideas do you have? Do you like any of these?
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