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Tacoma City Council Meeting - December 17, 2013

This last City Council meeting of 2013 was anything but brief, with a full agenda, and the appointment of a new (interim) Councilmember, who we'll see on the dais when the Council reconvenes in January.



Resolution No. 38797 A resolution setting Thursday, January 16, 2014, at 1:30 p.m., as the date and time for a hearing by the Hearing Examiner on the request to vacate a portion of the Dock Street air rights north of State Route 509 (Henry Foss Group, LLC; File No. 124.1338) [Troy Stevens, Senior Real Estate Specialist; Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E., Director, Public Works]



Mayor Strickland proclaimed December 31, 2013 as First Night Tacoma Day in the City of Tacoma. Everyone is invited to come downtown and enjoy the family-friendly, alcohol-free festivities celebrating the coming of the Year of the Horse. It's free to walk around and enjoy the energy of the night, including fire, the world's shortest parade, live music, jugglers, magicians, other live entertainment and surprises, art, and of course, more fire. A $10 button available for purchase at local businesses will get you even more good times all day long, including access to all First Night venues, admission to three downtown Tacoma museums, and rentals all day at the Polar Plaza Ice Rink in Tollefson Plaza.



No comment.



A motion was made and adopted to accept the 2014 annual review of the City Manager. Overall the Council is pleased with Broadnax, who they rated between meeting and exceding expectations. He ranked high in financial management and budget expertise, implementation of Council priorities and strategic objectives, setting high professional standards, responsiveness, and community engagement. Areas listed for improvement include communication, relationship building, and professional development. In particular the Council thanked Broadnax for his work with the budget process over the last year.



Resolution No. 38798 A resolution reappointing Tom Pierson to the Greater Tacoma Regional Convention Center Public Facilities District Board for a four-year term to expire October 31, 2017.

Pierson was reappointed to a four-year term as a representative on the board, which oversees the operations and staff of the Convention Center.



Resolution No. 38799 A resolution awarding a contract to Regence Blue Shield, in the amount of $27,089,284, sales tax not applicable, budgeted from the Health Care Trust Fund, for the medical/RX plan and stop loss coverage administrator services, for an initial five-year term with the option to renew for five years, for a projected contract total of $68,543,989 - Specification No. HR13-0191F. [Debbie Dahlstrom, Risk Manager; Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

The award to Regence Blue Shield is the result of a competitive request for proposals process initiated by the City as a way of reducing the cost of providing healthcare to employees.


Resolution No. 38800 A resolution authorizing the execution of an amendment to the agreement with Bank of America, to extend and increase the contract by an amount not to exceed $504,000, sales tax not applicable, for a maximum cumulative total of $6,207,320.13, budgeted from the Treasury Operations Fund, for continuation of banking and merchant card services while the City transitions to a new banking service provider - Specification No. FI06-0625F. [Teresa Sedmak, City Treasurer; Andrew Cherullo, Director, Finance]

The item was adopted without Council comment.


Resolution No. 38801 A resolution authorizing the execution of an amendment to the agreement with Retail Lockbox, Inc., to extend and increase the contract by $75,000, sales tax not applicable, for a cumulative total of $1,190,873.01, budgeted from the Treasury Operations Fund, for lockbox receipting services - Specification No. FI06-0808F. [Teresa Sedmak, City Treasurer; Andrew Cherullo, Director, Finance]

This item was also adopted without comment.


Resolution No. 38802 A resolution authorizing the execution of an interagency agreement with the University of Washington Tacoma, in the amount of $1,250,000; depositing said sum into the Street Capital Projects Fund for the design and construction management of the South 17th Street re-alignment between Jefferson Avenue, Broadway, and Commerce Street. [Darius Thompson, Associate Engineer; Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E., Director, Public Works]

UWT and City have worked together on this project to Improve pedestrian safety and traffic flow around 17th and Commerce/Broadway/Jefferson in downtown Tacoma. The project will result in the loss of the historic line of Jefferson, but should improve traffic flow in the area. The project currently shows angle parking along Jefferson as it transitions into Broadway This resolution represents one part of a two-part agreement, so it will come back next year with additional specifics resulting from the continuing design process.



Resolution No. 38803 A resolution amending the boundaries of the designated historic property known as the J.M. Hendrickson Homestead, located at 1239 East 54th Street. [Reuben McKnight, Historic Preservation Officer; Peter Huffman, Director, Planning and Development Services]

The property in question has been listed on the Tacoma Historic Register as an example of farm architecture and rural development within the city limits, and a part of the immigrant narrative of Tacoma's history. Due to financial needs, the property owner requested to amend the boundaries of the historic property to carve off 1.37 acres to be platted for redevelopment, while preserving the remainder of the historic homestead. It was determined that the homestead could retain its historic significance in look and feel with the reduced property size.


Resolution No. 38804 A resolution approving the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. [Toryono Green, Deputy Chief; James P. Duggan, Chief, Tacoma Fire Department]

The City's current emergency plan, which is required of larger cities in Washington like Tacoma, was adopted in 2009, and is due for an update by year-end. The plan addresses the basic elements of mitigation, prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery, and includes both the policy and procedures to support those elements. Changes included in this update improve a move from a four-year to a five-year update cycle (per the state), updates to recognize departmental changes, language changed to reflect the terminology shift from "Emergency Operations Center" to "Emergency Coordination Center," greater attention to ADA considerations, and an added emphasis on the role of businesses in emergency management.


Resolution No. 38805 A resolution authorizing the execution of an agreement between the City and the Tacoma Joint Labor Committee, which provides for benefits for employees represented by the unions that comprise the Tacoma Joint Labor Committee; and a corresponding Memorandum of Agreement between the City and the Tacoma Police Union, Local 6, I.U.P.A. [Joy. St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

The resolution was adopted without Council comment.


Resolution No. 38806 A resolution authorizing the adoption of an updated Citizen Participation Plan that outlines the planning process for development of the five-year Consolidation Plan for Community Development Block Grant, the HOME Investment Partnership program, and the Emergency Solutions Grant. [Carey Jenkins, Housing Division Manager; Ricardo Noguera, Director, Community and Economic Development]

The Citizen Participation Plan was last updated in 2005. This latest round up updates include a name change of the Emergency Shelter Grant to the Emergency Solutions Grant, a recognition of the Neighborhood and Community Services Department as the administrative agent to handle a portion of the federal grant, encouragement of regional coordination of homeless prevention efforts, and a way for citizens with limited English proficiency to participate through the use of as-needed translation services.


Resolution No. 38807 A resolution adopting the Neighborhood Council Program Standards and Guidelines. [Carol Wolfe, Supervisor; Ricardo Noguera, Director, Community and Economic Development]

The revised standards and guidelines are the result of an 11 month process, which included a review of best practices and community outreach efforts. The revisions include increased opportunities for for community participation and diversity, an emphasis on leadership development and transition within the program, Increased opportunities for partnerships between the Neighborhood Council Program and independent neighborhood groups, and improved communication and transparency within the program.


Resolution No. 38808 A resolution accepting the November 2013 Final Report from the Fiscal Sustainability Task Force; and directing the City Manager to evaluate and provide a response to the Government Performance and Finance Committee on the recommendations made in the Final Report. [Andy Cherullo, Director, Finance]

The FSTF was created as a mechanism for various stakeholders to examine the City’s revenue structure and budget deficit, with the goal of identifying short- and long-term solutions to enhance revenues and reduce expenses in a sustainable manner. The task force met beginning in June through November; they developed 28 consensus recommendations, a of which the City Manager shared highlights.

  • address the growth rate and cost burden of employee salaries and benefits
  • search for efficiencies in Tacoma Police and Fire departments
  • search for other efficiencies on an on-going, city-wide basis
  • the City needs revenue, but revenue alone will not solve the structural imbalance in the general fund
  • reduce and/or eliminate tax exemptions and tax credits where appropriate
  • ensure compliance with existing codes
  • look to sell any unused, surplus, or nonessential assets, applying those proceeds to one-time purposes
  • pursue opportunities for cost-recovery from other agencies the City may do business with

​The City Manager will review all of the task force recommendations and report back to the Council's Governmet Performance and Finance  Committee with his evaluation.


Resolution No. 38809 A resolution cancelling the following regular City Council meetings in 2014: January 2, March 11, May 27, September 2, November 12, December 23, and December 30, 2014. [Mayor Marilyn Strickland]

These dates account for holidays and other predictable dates when the Council won't be meeting in 2014.


Resolution No. 38810 A resolution authorizing a temporary leave of absence for Council Member Anders Ibsen for up to one year, and appointing an individual to the City Council District No. 1 position for a term commencing January 1, 2014 and ending upon Council Member Ibsen’s return from military service. [Doris Sorum, City Clerk; Elizabeth Pauli, City Attorney]

Councilmember Ibsen will be going to training for Marine Corps Reserve. In the interim the City Council has named Joseph Lopez to serve as his interim replacement. We heard several other names receive favorable mentions; applicants Green, Hernandez, Lawver, Manthou, Rash, Smitherman, and Zawecki all got top mentions from various council members.


Ordinance No. 28193 An ordinance adopting the South Downtown Subarea Plan as an element of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. [Ian Munce, Special Assistant to the Director; Peter Huffman, Director, Planning and Development Services]

The ordinance was adopted without further Council comment. 


Ordinance No. 28194 An ordinance amending Chapters 13.06 and 13.06A of the Municipal Code, relating to zoning and downtown Tacoma, to make minor amendments related to the South Downtown Subarea Plan. [Ian Munce, Special Assistant to the Director; Peter Huffman, Director, Planning and Development Services]

This ordinance was also adopted without further Council comment. 


Ordinance No. 28195 An ordinance repealing and reenacting Chapter 1.45 of the Municipal Code, relating to Neighborhood Councils, to update language and policies relating to said program. [Carol Wolfe, Supervisor; Ricardo Noguera, Director, Community and Economic Development Department]

One more ordinance adopted without further Council comment.



Ordinance No. 28196 An ordinance adopting the Six-Year Comprehensive Transportation Improvement Program Amended 2013-2014 and 2015-2020. [Jennifer Kammerzell, Senior Engineer; Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E., Director, Public Works]

RCW requires an annual update of the plan, which is necessary to get state and federal funding for planned transportation projects, including roadways, bridges, non-motorized facilities, sidewalks, and other transportation-related capital projects. The plan is adopted by Council annually in conjunction with the budget.



City Manager Broadnax acknowledged the performance evaluation he received from Council, and took the opportunity to thank his executive management team and the rest of the City employees for all their hard work and accomplishments recent times of fiscal difficulty. Broadnax also thanked all the citizens of Tacoma who have welcomed him into the community. Broadnax wrapped up the year by wishing council members Mello and Campbell happy birthdays.



Neighborhoods and Housing Committee – Councilmember Walker reported on issues addressed by the committee.

  • Heard an update on the review of the Neighborhood Council Program, including recommendations for changes to minimize governance language and create standards and guidelines. Outcomes are expected to include increased opportunity for participation and diversity, improved communication and transparency, and adjusted council boundaries for better alignment.
  • Received a Metro Parks presentation on capital improvement initiatives including plans for Wapato Hills park and Swan Creek Park; and an overview of Metro Parks' public outreach and engagement processes
  • Heard an update on planning commission work to consider comprehensive plan and land use amendments relating to affordable housing
  • Interviewed and made recommendations on applicants for the Landmarks Preservation Commission
  • Received an update and recommendations regarding homeless encampment issues

At the next meeting the committee will review Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority applicants.


Councilmember Ibsen thanked everyone on the Council and all the community members who have given him support for his choice to enlist with the Marine Corps Reserve.

Councilmember Boe reminded us to get our First Night buttons, and that the last two Christmas Revels performances were scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

Deputy Mayor Campbell congratulated Councilmember Boe on being MVP on the City's championship broomball team, which took home the cup over the Tacoma Art Museum. Campbell also reminded us that there are openings available on four citizen committees (Tacoma Area Commission on Disabilities, Human Services Commission, Human Rights Commission, and the Citizen Review Panel), and asked everyone to remember their local businesses as they wrap up their shopping for the holidays - shop local, keep your money local.

Mayor Strickland shared a thank you for every person who works for the government, at every level, making so many of the things we do from day to day possible. 

And don't forget - no Council meetings for the next two weeks. Enjoy the vacation, but don't forget to check back in 2014 for the January 7 meeting.



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

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Fred Davie

“Areas listed for improvement include communication”

The city council wants City Manager to do a better job with his communications. Maybe the council needs to do a better job listening. Broadnax has stated emphatically that the council needs to address salary issues in the city and get it’s spending in line with a BACK TO BASICS emphasis.  Why isn’t the council listening?


December 19, 2013 at 11:09 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Fred Davie

“Mayor Strickland shared a thank you for every person who works for the government, at every level, making so many of the things we do from day to day possible.”

No thanks, however,  for the taxpayers at every level who make day to day government operations possible.

December 19, 2013 at 4:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply



At the last meting Mayor Trickland, yea the one who had to wait for her tax refund to tender reimbursement after being slapped with an ethical violation, took a swipe at citizens who actually pay attention to what their elected representatives are up to. She made reference to those who would like to see Tacoma government officials actually follow the law and provide value for the taxes they pay as “anti-government.”

More of the same is about all we can expect to come out of her pie-hole.

January 2, 2014 at 12:23 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


And one last thing kiddies…

City Council does not advocate or celebrate fetishism of men in military uniforms.

January 2, 2014 at 1:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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