Tacoma City Council Meeting - July 21, 2015

It was a brief meeting this week, but with some important business getting taken care of nonetheless. 



Ordinance No. 28308 An ordinance amending Chapter 13.06 of the Municipal Code, related to Zoning, to reclassify the property located 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.

The ordinance was set over to a date to be determined for a final reading.



Mayor Strickland read a proclamation recognizing the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Signed into law in 1990, the ADA established a comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against persons with disabilities. The proclamation renews the City’s commitment to making ADA goals of inclusion and equality a reality for persons with disabilities in Tacoma. Advocates noted how far we’ve come in the last 25 years, and how much work there still remains to create equality of opportunity and access for persons with disabilities, particularly in fields of education and employment.

July 2015 was proclaimed as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in the City of Tacoma in recognition that mental health is essential to overall health, and of the importance of eliminating inequalities in and barriers to mental health services. A particular barrier for non-English speakers is often a lack of access to information in their language, and therefore an inability to fully participate in care decisions.



We heard from an advocate for persons with disabilities, thanking the council for recognizing the importance of access to education and employment for all people. A representative of 15 Now also spoke, chastising the council for wishing to slow the move to a higher minimum wage, comparing caution over rapid implementation to critics of Martin Luther King Jr., who said he was asking for change to happen too fast.




Resolution No. 39239 A resolution declaring surplus and authorizing the execution of a Purchase and Sale Agreement, and Quit Claim Deed, to convey 850 square feet of real property located at 1702 Jefferson Avenue to the University of Washington Tacoma for the amount of $8,500.

The City of Tacoma acquired the property in 1985 to create a mini park, which it has maintained for 30 years at an annual cost of about $8,000. The University will be take over the maintenance of the park as a part of the expanded open space area that also includes space that used to be Jefferson Avenue, prior to the 17th Street realignment.


Resolution No. 39240 A resolution transmitting a ballot measure to the Pierce County Auditor to be placed on the ballot for the General Election on Tuesday, November 3, 2015, which reads:



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............ [ ]


The way the initiative process works in Tacoma is that once an initiative has gotten enough signatures, it goes to the city council. The council has 30 days to decide whether to act on the matter. If they don’t act in that time period, the initiative is then transmitted to the Pierce County Auditor to appear on the ballot.

This particular initiative has the potential to seem a little confusing in how it appears to voters, as the original 15 Now citizen initiative was numbered before there was a counter proposal from the council, so it was named Initiative 1. The council proposal for a phased-in $12 an hour minimum wage came later, but needs to be attached to the original as an alternative on the ballot, so it becomes 1B. There is no 1A. (See last week’s coverage for more on the council-approved option 1B.)



City Manager Brodnax announced that for the third year in a row the City of Tacoma is being recognized by the International City and County Management Association (ICMA) for its performance management efforts with a Certificate of Excellence.

Tacoma is one of just 33 municipalities receiving the “excellence” level certificate – the highest level awarded. The award recognizes performance management measures that support cost reduction, program prioritization, quality improvement, accountability, and transparency.



Economic Development Committee – Councilmember Campbell reported on issues recently addressed by the committee.

  • Neighborhood business district review and check-in
  • Sidewalk café processes improvements
  • Updates on the food truck pilot program and future food truck policy
  • Update on City special events program

Councilmember Walker gave a reminder that community cleanups continue – this weekend it’s the Hilltop Action Coalition cleanup at Evergreen State College from 10 to 2.

Councilmember Campbell gave a reminder that the Eastside Farmers’ Market continues every Wednesday from noon to 4 in Salishan in front of the Family Investment Center on East 44th.

Councilmember Thoms was absent from this week’s meeting.


That's all for this week. A nice brief meeting after last week's 4.5-hour epic. For more on the items on this week’s agenda, see our City Business Preview.

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