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City Council Meeting - July 1, 2008
The City Council meeting was short this evening, but not so sweet. It was actually a little tense.
The meeting began with Tall Ships board members accepting a Proclamation from the council. Yeah! Tall Ships!
Resolution # 37523 authorized the execution of an agreement with the Martin Luther King Housing Development Association, $53,000 from the General Fund, for the continued operation of the Men’s and Women’s Shelter.
Resolution # 37524 authorized the execution of agreements with four groups – the Young Women’s Christian Association, Washington Women’s Employment and Education, Marin Luther King Housing Development Association, and Salvation Army – to utilize the Community Development Block Grant Funds, a total of $148,170.
Resolution # 37525 authorized the Washington State Historical Society to extend the contract date to June 30, 2009 to complete the Chinese Reconciliation Park project. The project is currently in its first of three phases, and is in need of more funds before beginning the second phase.
The air became thick with inner-council disagreement when Resolution # 37528 (Previously on Exit133) was brought up for discussion.
Amendment to Resolution # 37528
Councilwoman Strickland proposed an amendment to change this resolution to allow three consecutive term limits. Since this was deemed a substantive change to the agenda, public comment was allowed. The few Tacoma residents who stood to speak were either of the opinion that this resolution was completely self-serving for council members and new officials were needed to keep a fresh perspective, or that term limits should be abolished to allow great public officials to keep their jobs.
Mayor Baarsma strongly opposed the amendment, citing the City Charter as Tacoma’s Constitution, saying that it should not be changed lightly or without intensive scrutiny from council appointed citizens committees and a charter review process. According to the Mayor, the amendment was “inappropriate and out of order” not due to the question of term limits, but because it would amend Tacoma’s Constitution without sufficient public discussion.
Strickland’s amendment failed to pass.
Resolution # 37528 was passed with a 5-4 vote to place a proposition on the November 4, 2008 ballot to repeal Article II, Section 2.35 of the City Charter that would removing the term limits for the Mayor and Council Members.
Council members who opposed the decision were concerned that placing this proposition on the ballot was done hastily and without proper public discussion. On the other hand, the five supporting members insisted that this resolution was not out of self-interest, but a chance to let voters be heard on the term limit debate. Councilwoman Walker was surprised that this issue received so much press, saying that it was meant to be something very simple – to see if Tacoma voters would like to address this issue, and council members were “not ramming it down anyone’s throat.”
Final Reading of Ordinances
Mayor Baarsma appealed his amendment concerning Amended Ordinance # 27728 to increase the marine buffer size from 50 ft. to 115 ft., and the resolution was adopted to amend the Land Use Permit Procedures and Critical Areas Preservation of the Municipal Code to require 50 ft. marine buffers.
Mr. Hill was up to his usual antics with a few new tricks. He somehow lost his jumpsuit/pants and was escorted out. He later returned and was removed again because of his comments at the microphone. After seeing that a polite young boy had sat through the entire meeting, and “who knows how many children are watching at home,” Councilman Lonergan appealed to the City’s legal council to find a way to permanently ban Mr. Hill from City Council meetings because of his inappropriate behavior.
Tacoma City Council Meetings: Rated PG 13
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