Tacoma City Council Meeting - August 12, 2014



Resolution No. 38984 A resolution authorizing the execution of an Amended and Restated Interlocal Agreement for Communications Services to add the City of Puyallup as a Member Agency of South Sound 9-1-1; authorize 63-20 financing; incorporate provisions relating to the responsibilities of member agencies in the event of future shortfalls in tax collections; and update outdated language. [Tansy Hayward, Assistant City Manager; T.C. Broadnax, City Manager]



No comment.



A motion was considered and adopted to authorize the City's full and final settlement of all claims against the City by Catholic Health Initiatives, Claim No. 14552, upon payment by the City in the amount of $44,358.57.



Resolution No. 38985 A resolution appointing Laurie Bischof and Kellene Richards to the Board of Building Appeals.[Doris Sorum, City Clerk; Elizabeth Pauli, City Attorney]

The individuals serving on the Board of Building Appeals look at issues relating to Tacoma’s building code and fire code.


Resolution No. 38986 A resolution appointing and reappointing Yoshi Kumara, Justin Leighton, Vance Lelli, and Andrew Strobel to the Transportation Commission. [Doris Sorum, City Clerk; Elizabeth Pauli, City Attorney]

The Transportation Commission is a relatively new commission for the City of Tacoma, established in 2013 to advise the City Council on transportation-related issues.


Ordinance No. 28238 An ordinance amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement rates of pay and compensation for employees represented by District Lodge #160, on behalf of Local Lodge #297 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, General Unit; and the Teamsters Local Union No. 117, Public Assembly Facilities (PAF) Unit. [Mike Brock, Labor Negotiator; David Topaz, Labor Negotiator; Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

The ordinance was adopted without further comment.



Quite a few individuals spoke at this month's Citizens' Forum.

Our regular commenter returned with another chapter in his ongoing rant complaint against public offices at all levels, and across the country. One of these days we’re going to get to the punch line...

Two commenters spoke about warnings they had received from the City's Code Compliance department related to a joint garage sale, at which multiple family members, some of whom did not live at the address of the sale, had sold items (apparently a violation of the code), including the sale of plants raised by one of the family members (also a violation). The speakers requested a review of the code, which they feel is unnecessarily restrictive, and of Code Enforcement's practice of proactively checking in on sales for violations, which they do not feel is a good use of City employee time.

The majority of the speakers this week were with a group called Unite Here Local 8, asking the City to develop high standards for new employees at the planned new Convention Center hotel, and to ensure that standards for current public facilities employees are maintained. Speakers included workers who spoke of the importance of living wages and benefits in their jobs. An organizer also spoke, saying that as the financing for the planned project was expected to come from the EB-5 program - a program intended to create jobs - it makes sense to ask that these be the kind of jobs we want to see in our community.

Another speaker shared his follow-up thoughts on his own (somewhat utopian) vision for the Tacoma of 2025 as a safe, thriving, economically and environmentally healthy place. He's aiming high, but it's nice to hear a little optimism.

A sign language interpreter and teacher of the deaf shared her plans for outreach to local businesses, who she was asking to make simple changes to be more deaf-friendly, changes she said would pay off in attracting more deaf customers. With national deaf awareness week coming up, she plans to offer a free workshop for local business owners interested in doing more to welcome deaf customers.

We also heard from two speakers with transportation-related concerns. One speaker thanked the City Council for its work with the bike community so far, and asked that the Council continue to make investments in bike infrastructure to serve the growing number of people cycling for exercise and for their commute. The second speaker asked the Council to reconsider the decision on the expansion of the Link light rail - pointing to potential issues with the Hilltop route, and asking that the Council reconsider a Portland Avenue route, and reallocating funds to other projects. That ship may have sailed.



City Manager Broadnax recognized the contributions and achievements of assistant city manager Tansy Hayward, who will be leaving Tacoma for a new position as assistant city manager in Raleigh, North Carolina. Broadnax and the Council shared their thanks and warm wishes for Hayward. Best of luck in Raleigh, Tansy.



Councilmember Walker asked the City Manager for more information on the City garage sale code, as it relates to the comments shared at Citizens' Forum.

Walker also shared that the Sprague Street interchange connecting to north and south bound I-5 will open this Sunday at 7:30 a.m., and invited everyone to the Hilltop Street Fair on August 23. MLK will be blocked off from Peoples Park at 9th to Earnest S Brazill Street for all-day festivities.

As usual, Councilmember Boe had a whole list of events to share.

  • Farmers' Markets continue: Tuesday afternoons at 6th and Pine, Thursday mid-day downtown on Broadway, Saturday mornings in Proctor, and Sunday mornings at the STAR Center in south Tacoma.
  • Friday is a special opening night party for the 25 new faces of independent film at the Grand Cinema, which will be hosting a series of films by these new filmmakers from August 15 through 20.
  • On Saturday, the Downtown Block Party invites everyone to join them downtown at Opera Alley for live music, and a fun celebration of walkable neighborhoods.
  • Also on Saturday you can enjoy Music and Art in Wright Park at the free festival from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Also, also on Saturday is the 18th Annual South Tacoma Car Show. South Tacoma Way will be blocked off for cars, music, food, and other vendors.
  • And on Sunday the Centro Latino Latin Festival will be going on in Peoples Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Everyone's invited to join the celebration of Latin culture, including indigenous heritage, arts, crafts, dance, food, business, and educational accomplishments.

Councilmember Lonergan announced that this Saturday's neighborhood cleanup would be at Mount Tahoma for the surrounding neighborhoods. Lonergan also invited everyone to come out for the McKinley Hill Street Fair, which will have McKinley blocked off around South 35th for a full day of live music, a back-to-school carnival, beer gardens, vendors, food trucks, and more. Bands start right at 10 a.m.

Councilmember Thoms reminded us that Tacoma's 2nd annual Celebrating Military Service Parade is coming up this Saturday evening along Pacific Avenue between South 17th and South 9th, and invited everyone to come out and show that Tacoma is a military friendly town.

Councilmember Ibsen shared that a solution is being worked on for the awkward entrance to Point Defiance Park at the north end of Pearl Street. Ibsen invited anyone interested to join with representatives from the City and Metro Parks at the Point Defiance Pagoda at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 13, to learn more about the proposed solution.

Mayor Strickland noted that almost every neighborhood in Tacoma has some sort of family-friendly fun going on this weekend, and urged everyone to get out and take advantage of all the fun things going on. We'll second that recommendation.

Councilmember Campbell was absent from this week’s meeting.


For more on the items on this week's agenda, see our City Business Preview for the week.

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