Tacoma City Council Meeting - February 25, 2014



Resolution No. 38851 A resolution setting Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at 5:30 p.m., as the date for a public hearing by the City Council to consider modification of the boundaries of the existing Business Improvement Area. [Debbie Bingham, Program Development Specialist; Ricardo Noguera, Director; Community and Economic Development]

McMenamins requested the expansion of the BIA by a few blocks, to include their properties (e.g. the Elks Lodge). The request requires a public hearing and the support of 50% or more of the current BIA.



Mayor Strickland recognized the 150th Anniversary of the Knights of Pythias.

Justice H Rathbone and Abraham Lincoln conceived the Knights of Pythias fraternal organization based on the ideals of brotherhood and friendship, as a way to heal the wounds caused by the Civil War. Founded in 1864, the Knights of Pythias sought to build friendship through loyalty and truth, to support and teach patriotism, and to extend charity and benevolence to those in need. In 1881 the residents of New and Old Tacoma joined together to bring the Knights of Pythias to Tacoma. They are now celebrating the 150th year of the national organization, and extend an invitation to anyone interested to visit on a Monday evening at their historic temple at 924 1/2 Broadway in downtown Tacoma. Both the Tacoma Pythians and the Pythian Sisters are accepting new member applications (not everyone has wears the funny hats).


The Mayor also proclaimed February 25, 2014 as Free Income Tax Return Preparation Day.

This may not be as sexy as the Knights of Pythias, but it's important nonetheless. Free tax preparation services are available for low-income, seniors, and other residents of Tacoma and Pierce County. Last year close to 4,000 Tacoma residents were able to take advantages of the services of volunteer tax preparers through various programs, bringing millions of dollars in tax breaks and refunds to the area. 



David Schroedel, spoke on behalf of the BIA in reference to the date set for the hearing on expanding the BIA. Schroedel thanked the Council for setting the hearing, saying the addition of the blocks in question has been a part of the conversation with McMenamins for about a year now.



A motion was made to authorize the City’s full and final settlement of all claims against the City in the matter of Diane Lindeman v. City of Tacoma, Laurie Harmon, John Doe Harmon, Pierce County Superior Court Cause No. 13-2-08372-3, upon payment by the City in the amount of $120,000. The motion was adopted.

Resolution No. 38852 A resolution appointing and reappointing the following individuals to the Tacoma Area Commission on Disabilities: Esther Bennett, Luke Byram, Susan Dye, JoAnn Fritsche, Todd Holloway, Donald Izenman, Roxanne Miles, Krystal Monteros, Linda Moran, Gerrit Nyland, and Gary Peterson. [Doris Sorum, City Clerk; Elizabeth Pauli, City Attorney]

The Commission works in conjunction with the Council's Public Safety, Human Services, and Education Committee to make recommendations on ADA issues and other improvements to accessibility in the City. Councilmember Campbell called this year's batch of applicants an extremely strong group of candidates.



Resolution No. 38853 A resolution authorizing the execution of an amendment to the agreement with Global Contractors LLC, in the amount of $24,754.52, sales tax not applicable, for a cumulative total of $428,635.02, budgeted from the Neighborhood Business District REET Fund, to increase the contract for construction services to complete pedestrian access improvements and ADA ramps at four locations in the City - Specification No. ED13-0359F. [Carol Wolfe, Supervisor; Ricardo Noguera, Director, Community and Economic Development]

The resolution was adopted without comment.



Ordinance No. 28205 An ordinance amending Chapter 8.44 of the Municipal Code, relating to Offenses Against Property, by enacting a new Section 8.44.160, to be entitled “Criminal Mischief”, changing the crime of “Riot” to the crime of “Criminal Mischief”, to comply with state law. [Keith Echterling, Deputy City Attorney; Elizabeth Pauli, City Attorney]

The ordinance would adopt the RCW change from the crime formerly know as "riot" to "criminal mischief." The change continues the work of updating Tacoma's code, giving prosecutors another tool to prosecute crime. The ordinance is scheduled for a final reading next week.



Public Safety, Human Services, and Education Committee – Councilmember Campbell reported on the work of the Committee.

  • Conducted interviews and made appointment recommendations for the Human Rights and Human Services commissions
  • Heard a presentation from UWT’s Urban Studies program regarding the City’s Division of Human Services Strategic Plan development
  • Conducted interviews for the Tacoma Area Commission on Disabilities and the Citizen Review Panel
  • Approved the 2013 Public Safety, Human Services, and Education Committee year-end report
  • Discussed realigning terms on the Tacoma Area Commission on Disabilities for more consistent turnover
  • Received a report from the Library Board of Trustees

At the Committee's next meeting it will hear a report from the Commission on Disabilities and the Human Rights Commission, and receive an update on the Eastside Community Center feasibility study.

Councilmember Thoms invited everyone to come out to this week's edition of the Tacoma Sister Cities International Film Festival. The film will show again at UPS, but at Kilworth Chapel this week. The film will be Beijing Meets Seattle, a film from Tacoma's Chinese sister city, with a plot along lines of Sleepless in Seattle. The Sister Cities program promotes cultural exchanges and opportunities between Tacoma and our sister cities. Doors open at 6, the movie starts at 7.

Councilmember Campbell invited everyone to join a fundraiser to build a memorial for Greg "Pappy" Boyington at Lincoln High School. The fundraiser will be at Joseppi's on Pearl Street Monday March 3 between 4 and 8. A portion of your dinner ticket will go to the fundraiser, and there will be an auction as well. 

Councilmember Boe reiterated his PSA regarding the "opt out" of TNT ad flyer option, this week with a more formal slide.

Councilmember Lonergan announced that this Thursday, February 27, low-income students and families are invited to a combination free FAFSA and tax assistance workshop at Mount Tahoma High School. Families can get tax preparation assistance and graduating seniors can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a necessary step in getting financial aid assistance for those going on to post-secondary education. There will also be translators available in Russian, Vietnamese, Spanish, and Cambodian.

Mayor Strickland acknowledged the hard work that has led to a significant increase in high school graduation rates in Tacoma. There is still room for improvement, but the rate has increased from 55% in 2010 to 70% in 2013. The Mayor thanked and congratulated everyone who had a part in that, and encouraged everyone to keep working to improve even further. 

Deputy Mayor Woodards 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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