Tacoma City Business Preview - Week of July 21, 2015

Following a truly epic city council meeting, this week's agenda is quite brief. That said, there are still one or two items worth noting...

Online Crime Reporting System

The main topic of discussion on the agenda for this week's city council study session is a presentation on a joint project between Tacoma Police and the City's IT Department on online crime reporting. The new online system would give citizens better tools for relating non-emergency crimes. The departments have worked together to develop a web app designed to allow citizens to report crimes, including relevant details, to a centralized database, and allow the City to push out automated communications and status updates related to reported incidents.

 

Minimum Wage

Last month the Pierce County Auditor announced that the 15 Now folks had indeed collected enough signatures to put their initiative on the ballot for the voters this November. A resolution on this week's regular Tacoma City Council meeting agenda would officially transmit that measure to the Auditor to place it on the ballot.

In case you've been living under a rock, the 15 Now proposal would increse the minimum hourly wage in Tacoma to $15 an hour beginning in 2016. The measure would read as follows:

CITY OF TACOMA INITIATIVE NO. 1

Initiative No. 1 concerns establishing a minimum wage for the City of Tacoma. 

This measure would require employers of a certain size to pay employees who work in the City of Tacoma, or maintain, report to, or are supervised from, an office in the City, an hourly wage of not less than fifteen dollars ($15.00), adjusted annually by the rate of inflation. This measure would also create a citizen commission to monitor the City’s administration and enforcement of the minimum wage requirements, and make violation a crime.

Should this measure be enacted into law?
Yes........... [ ]
No............ [ ]

This comes after last week's excitement around the council placing its own minimum wage increase proposal on the ballot in November. That increase would take the wage to $12 an hour by 2019. We expect this week's item to draw some comment as well.

If you want to get involved on this, or several other issues that will appear on the November ballot, the City is currently looking for citizens to fill the committees that will write the "for" and "against" statements for the Voters' Pamphlet.

 

UW Tacoma Land

The construction project that straightened out South 17th Street between Commerce and Pacific is complete, crosswalks are in, and UW Tacoma's landscaping is in place for the newly created triangle of land south of the newly-straightened 17th. A portion of that wedge of grass is what's left of a piece of property acquired by the City of Tacoma from Pierce County back in 1985 for the creation of a "mini-park" (it was the sloping patch of grass with a lone tree next to the restaurant formerly known as Twokoi). UW Tacoma would like to include that mini-park property in its master campus plan, incorporating it into that newly-created open space. The parcel in question is about 850 square feet, for which the University would pay the City $8,500 (just about what it has cost the City to maintain it annually for the last 30 years), and take over its upkeep. A resolution okay-ing that deal appears on this week's coucil meeting agenda.

 

Other Items

An ordinance on this week's council meeting consent agenda would amend the Tacoma Municipal Code related to zoning to reclassify a piece of property at 4722 35th Street Northeast from an “R-2” Single-Family Dwelling District to an “R-3” Two-Family Dwelling District to allow for the conversion of a single-family dwelling into a two-family dwelling.

A proclamation will recognize the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and July 2015 will be proclaimed as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in the City of Tacoma.

That's all we see on the agenda for this week at this point - it could be a relatively light week...


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