How to Vote on Charter Amendments, A Few Opinions

As election season continues to gather momentum, there are a lot of sources out there with opinions about how you should vote. This week we have recommendations from the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, and from the Tacomic.

On Tuesday the Chamber released its recommendations on four of the twelve proposed Tacoma Charter amendments. It's a pretty succinct guide: just yes on 5 and 9, no on 6 and 8. 

On Wednesday the Tacomic came out with its own more creatively rendered endorsements, with key phrases to help you remember them: No on 8 ("forever mayor") and 12 ("living here"), yes on the rest. The Tacomic also offers opinions on a couple of local candidates, and some of the controversial state-level initiatives (pictured above, and with commentary at Feed Tacoma).

The News Tribune's endorsements have been out for a little longer. They're recommending yes on 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, and 12; and no on 5, 6, 8, and 9. Find a little more on their reasoning here.

It looks like all three came out on the same side of just one of the twelve issues: no on 8. Amendment 8 is one of the more controversial amendments still standing (although somewhat altered) from the original Charter Review committee recommendations. It would make changes to allow an individual to serve up to 10 consecutive years as a council member and two terms as mayor (the current limit is 10 years total between the two positions). The TNT and the Tacomic also agree on 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, and 11, with the Chamber silent on those issues. 

If you're looking for a more interactive decision-making experience, the Living Voters' Guide is back again this year, with a format that allows you to view pros and cons listed for each item, make your own list of pros and cons (either your own or chosen from the existing lists), and identify how you plan to vote on the issues. Tacoma's issues are looking a little bare right now, but that means your chance to jump in and set the tone...

And of course there are always the official "for" and "against" statements in your Voters' Guide to consider as well.

Yes, a lot of sources. And while we don't believe that anyone should ever just follow down a checklist, these kinds of lists can provide some interesting context.

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Bill Baarsma

The Charter Review Committee made no recommendations regarding term limits and the current charter. There was no consensus on that issue. That proposal comes from the City Council, It still limits the mayor to two terms by the way.

October 23, 2014 at 9:09 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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“Forever mayor” my butt.  The charter amendments should have abolished term limits and respected voters’ intelligence, but no. 8 is a step in the right direction.

October 24, 2014 at 8:24 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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#12 Living Here:  You can only work for the city if you live in Tacoma?  Huh.  Isn’t that a bit limiting to attracting talent?  I would think the HR department would work to identify the best candidate for a position and go after them instead of waiting for a somewhat relevant application from within Tacoma to come in.  Tell me I’m misunderstanding this or something…

October 24, 2014 at 9:26 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Amendment 12 concerns repealing the provision in the charter that requires employees live in city limits.  From what I recall this provision is unenforceable, so the amendment would do away with the language.

October 24, 2014 at 10:41 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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AMENDMENT 13: Background Checks On All Internet Based Illustrators. VOTE YES.
“It’s A Matter Of Visual Justice.”

October 25, 2014 at 1:03 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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