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New Strong Mayor Proposal for Tacoma

It seems like we just finished writing about the demise of a proposal to change Tacoma's form of government to a strong mayor format... Well, it's back.

The News Tribune reports that a group called the Pierce County League for Better Government plans to file paperwork this week that would place an item on the November ballot to change how the city's government works.

The proposal would amend Tacoma's Charter, removing the City Manager position, and more or less replacing it with a stronger mayor position as the head of City government. This would put the mayor in charge of day-to-day operations at the City.

The PCLBG proposal would also reduce the number of council members from eight to seven, eliminating the at-large position currently held by Councilmember Woodards, who is due to reach the end of her term in 2017. Term limits would also change slightly under the proposal - from the current 10-year maximum to a flat two four-year terms.

This proposal is similar to some of the ideas that came out of last year's Charter Review process, but that ultimately died for lack of support from the council, not making it to the ballot.

The PCLBG plans to file paperwork this week. They would have until August to collect the 7,800 signatures needed to get the issue on the ballot this year. If the measure appears on the ballot, and if voters approve it, Tacoma could have a new form of government in place by the beginning of 2018.

The TNT coverage so far outlines the basics of the pro-strong-mayor camp. We haven't yet seen a response from any opposition... Anyone out there ready to lead the anti-change movement? Or will you be throwing your support behind the charter change proposal?


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