Tacoma City Business Preview - Week of February 11, 2014

Charter Review

The big piece of City business this week is the first Charter Review public hearing, which will be held this evening beginning at 5:30 p.m. Citizens are invited to attend and share their ideas for improving Tacoma's City Charter. If you haven't had a chance to brush up on the charter, you've still got a couple hourst to cram. Find the current Charter, along with other resources at www.cityoftacoma.org/charterreview.


Container Port Element

This week's study session includes an update on the development of the Container Port Element of Tacoma's Comprehensive Plan. The City is required, in collaboration with the Port, to develop the plan, which will define and protect core areas of port and port-related uses, provide "reasonably efficient" access to those areas through freight corridors, and to resolve land use conflicts and minimize incompatible uses. The requirement that this element be included in the Comprehensive Plan is intended to ensure that land use decisions take into consideration the needs of the container port, allowing the port to function alongside the rest of the city. The Container Port Element will be reviewed in the 2014 Comprehensive Plan amendment process.


Orca Cards for Commute Trip Reduction

Beginning in 1996 the City of Tacoma began providing bus passes/van pool subsidies for its employees as a part of the Commute Trip Reduction Program. In 2009 the City switched from these subsidies to the ORCA Business Card system, which provides access to Pierce, Metro, Kitsap, Everett Community, and Sound Transit systems for employees, as well as vanpool and vanshare services.A resolution on this week's City Council meeting agenda would authorize a $397,804 agreement with Pierce Transit, budgeted from the General Fund, to purchase ORCA Business Cards as part of the City’s Commute Trip Reduction Program for 2014.


City Manager

TC Broadnax joined the Tacoma City government as City Manager in January of 2012, for an initial two-year term, set to expire February 13, 2014. A resolution on this week's Council meeting agenda would extend his contract for another two years, through February 2016. The City Manager has received generally favorable performance reviews from Council, which is required to vote every two years on whether to reconfirm his position.


Purchase Resolutions

Two purchase resolutions on this week's agenda: the first would award a contract to U.S. Bank National Association ND, as the service provider for the City of Tacoma’s VISA Procurement and ePayables Card Program, for an initial six-year term through 2020, plus the option to renew for one additional two-year term. The City has been using a procurement card system since 1998 for purchase of certain materials and services.

The second would amend the City's agreement with the consultants working on the Dewatering Facility Upgrade Project, increasing that contract by $354,180 to a cumulative total of $1,148,440 for consultant and design modification services during construction, budgeted from the Wastewater Fund. Without getting into the details, the Dewatering Facility is a part of the process of producing TAGRO. The existing dewatering facility is at the end of its useful life, so it's time for a new one. The contract increase would cover unanticipated costs encountered during the construction of the new facility, including modifications to facilities, new computer control system standards, and an increase in the quantity of design drawings and duration of the design phase.


Citizens' Forum

It's that time again - Citizens' Forum is scheduled for this week's Council meeting. This is your chance to tell the City Council what you think about any issue over which they have jurisdiction. Use it wisely.


Other Items

A resolution on this week's City Council meeting consent agenda would authorize a Interlocal Agreement with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services related to the Tacoma School District's Truancy Initiative Program. The agreement would provide $20,000 in funding for the program to improve attendance rates.

A second resolution on this week's consent agenda would accept a $3.4 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response federal grant to pay the salary and benefit costs of 20 firefighters for two years. In 2012 Tacoma accepted a SAFER grant for nearly twice the amount under consideration this year; that grant paid for 37 positions. Like that previous grant, this grant covers the non-overtime salaries for Tacoma firefighters for two years, on the condition that none will be laid off during the two years covered by the grant.

A resolution on this week's regular City Council meeting agenda would appoint City Council members to various national, state, regional, and local committees, boards, and commissions, including the Council’s six standing committees, for 2014.

An ordinance scheduled for a first reading this week would implement rates of pay and compensation for a new classification of Electrician, represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, Tacoma Power Unit.

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