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Tacoma City Council Meeting - December 3, 2013


Mayor Strickland proclaimed December 2 - 6, 2013 as Employee Learning Week and December 9 - 13, 2013 as DECA Week in the City of Tacoma.

We also heard a presentation from Deputy Mayor Campbell on the Digital Cities award recently received by city of Tacoma. The City ranked high among peer cities for its efforts to improve citizen access to government services for implementing new technology and improving efficiencies. Now, if only it was a little easier to listen to recently archived committee meetings online...



No comment this week.



A motion was made and adopted to direct City Manager to initiate the process to fill the seat to be temporarily vacated by the temporary departure of Councilmember Ibsen. Applications will be accepted starting tomorrow through December 12. Be available December 17 for three minute interviews. Council will deliberate, and hopes to appoint someone at that evening’s meeting.



Resolution No. 38785 A resolution appointing and reappointing the following individuals to the Landmarks Preservation Commission: Jonah Jensen, Lysa Schloesser, Christopher Granfield, Duke York, and Jeff Williams. [Doris Sorum, City Clerk; Elizabeth Pauli, City Attorney]

The appointments and reappointments were approved as recommended by the Neighborhoods and Housing committee.



Resolution No. 38786 A resolution awarding a contract to Braun Northwest, Inc., in the amount of $274,000, plus sales tax, budgeted from the Fire Special Revenue Fund and the General Fund, for a mass-casualty incident response vehicle - Specification No. FD13-0626F. [Roger Edington, Assistant Chief; James P. Duggan, Chief, Tacoma Fire Department]

As a part of the regional emergency response plan, the vehicle will be located at Fire Station 2 at 27th and Tacoma Avenue, and will carry the medical supplies to care for up to 100 critically injured or ill patients.



Resolution No. 38787 A resolution authorizing the execution of a grant agreement with the Washington State Department of Ecology, in the amount of $653,874; accepting and depositing said sum into the Solid Waste Fund; and authorizing the expenditure of $217,958 in matching funds, for a cumulative total of $871,832, to promote waste prevention and recycling activities. [Geoffrey M. Smyth, P.E., Science and Engineering Division Manager; Michael P. Slevin III, Director, Environmental Services]

This is part of an on-going grant program, which has directed funds to Tacoma's Solid Waste department over the last two decades. The funds from this grant program will cover on-going operational tasks such as operations at the recycling center, and capital projects such as the construction of the recently approved asphalt recycling center.


Resolution No. 38788 A resolution acknowledging the support and need for coordinating efforts to successfully implement the Growing Transit Communities Strategy, and authorizing the execution of the Growing Transit Communities Compact. [Ian Munce, Special Assistant to the Director; Peter Huffman, Director, Planning and Development Services]

As the Puget Sound region as a whole continues to make investments in regional transportation and plans for accomodating growth, the Puget Sound Regional Council is involved in a national effort to coordinate federal, state, and local transit investments in the revitalization of urban centers and sprawl reduction. These efforts are focused on answering the quesion of how to best make use of those transit investments so that they help the whole population of the area by developing equitable, diverse, transit-oriented communities around transit centers. The compact agreed to here has been agreed to by other cities in the region, and represents a set of practices and goals that communities should work towards, rather than a controlling madate. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the benefits of transit get to the people who need them the most.


Resolution No. 38789 A resolution adopting the priority issues for the 2014 sessions of the United States Congress and Washington State Legislature. [Randy Lewis, Government Relations Officer; T.C. Broadnax, City Manager]

This is the Council's annual adoption of its list of priorities in issues that are anticipated to be relevant at the state or federal level in 2014. A couple changes were made to wording under state-level priorities around affordable housing and funding for healthcare to include behavioral and mental health programs. The City's major priorities for 2014 are

  • The passage of a transportation package that includes funding for the completion of 167 and other local projects
  • New local transportation funding tools including the ability to create a street utility
  • New economic development tools (including options such as tax increment financing and local improvement districts)
  • Opposes any effort to restrict or diminish its authority to tax and license


Resolution No. 38790 A resolution approving the 2014-2015 Funding Priorities Statement for the Annual Action Plan of the City’s Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development. [Carey Jenkins, Housing Division Manager; Ricardo Noguera, Director, Community and Economic Development]

The purpose of the annual action plan is to provide direction for investment of CDBG, HOME and ESG funding awarded to Tacoma, and guidance for those applying to the City for a portion of these funds. This particular plan comes in the final year of the existing five-year Consolidated Plan period, so the completion of existing two year priorities was recommended and adopted. The new five-year plan process will begin mid-2014 with a review of community needs.



Ordinance No. 28190 An ordinance amending Chapter 6A.30 of the Municipal Code, relating to Business and Occupation Tax, to ensure that sales of recreational cannabis by producers are taxable under the City’s Business and Occupation Tax. [Danielle Larson, Tax and License Division Manager; Andy Cherullo, Director, Finance]

The ordinance passed without further comment.


Ordinance No. 28191 An ordinance authorizing the execution of an amendment to the Limited Tax General Obligation Line of Credit Note, 2005, relating to the financing of the construction of police facilities, by extending the final due date to November 28, 2018. [Andy Cherullo, Director, Finance]

This item also passed without further comment.



Ordinance No. 28192 An ordinance amending the 2013-2014 Biennial Budget to appropriate funds for contractual obligations, transfers, and other budget adjustments; authorizing interfund transfers and contributions; and accepting, depositing, and appropriating miscellaneous donations, contributions, and/or fees. [Tadd Wille, Budget Officer; Andy Cherullo, Director, Finance]

The City is required to complete a midbiennial review to align and update the budget with updated information and trends, adjust for any resolutions approved by the Council, and provide for other corrections.



This was the date set for a public hearing by the City Council on the South Downtown Subarea Plan and minor amendments to Chapters 13.06, Zoning, and 13.06A, Downtown Tacoma, of the Municipal Code. [Ian Munce, Assistant to the Director; Peter Huffman, Director, Planning and Development Services]

We heard from various stakeholders about their support for and experiences with the planning process. Representatives from UWT, Historic Tacoma, the Foss Waterway Development Authority, the Dome District, Forterra, and even the Stadium Business District were all there to voice support for the plans. A commenter involved with the North Downtown planning process did ask that the importance of parking to businesses be kept in mind as that process moves forward. We also heard a couple requests relating to possible adjustments to processes for handling Transfer of Development Rights.



Government Performance and Finance Committee – Councilmember Lonergan reported on issues covered by the committee.

  • Heard recommendations from the citizen Fiscal Sustainability Task Force for actions to reduce the City's structural budget deficit. That report is available on the City's website.
  • Heard a report from Planning and Development Services staff on a proposed agreement for permitting software to reduce the application time and allow for online tracking of permits. That agreement was approved at the November 26 Council meeting.

At it's next meeting, the committee will conduct interviews for the Charter Review Committee, and hear about a proposed telecommunications franchise agreement. That meeting will likely be a lengthy one. 

Mayor Strickland reminded us of the December 4 due date for Charter Review Committee applications. 

Councilmember Boe shared several events beginning with the broomball match planned for 8 p.m. at Polar Plaza. It's all over now, but we heard that Franciscan, Davita, the City of Tacoma, the Tacoma Art Museum, and/or the Chamber were all involved. Sounds like fun. A few other (more official) events might be of interest too - all coming up this Saturday.

  • Proctor Holiday Fest will be going on at 26th and Proctor - pictures with Santa, free candy canes, carolers, and more.
  • The Seymour Conservatory will be hosting a Victorian Christmas from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Santa will be there too, as will staff in Victorian costume, and of course the beautiful plants.
  • Fort Nisqually will be home to another Christmas past - a 19th Century Christmas - with stories, music, dance, and crafts.
  • And of course, we can't forget the Pac the Ave event celebrating the completion of the Pacific Avenue Streetscape project with live music, pictures with Santa, Pac Ave Passports, cocoa, kettle corn, and more.

Mayor Strickland echoed Boe's invitation for everyone to come down to Pacific Avenue between 7th and 9th at 3 p.m. to celebrate the project coming to a finish. A lot of stakeholders came together to make the improvements happen as a driver for investment and development to improve Tacoma's downtown.

Deputy Mayor Campbell closed the meeting with a reminder to everyone of the importance of shopping local this holiday season, both for the local businesses, and keeping our tax dollars close to home. Shop local this holiday season.


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

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