Tacoma City Council Meeting - July 22, 2014

CONSENT AGENDA

RESOLUTIONS

Resolution No. 38960 A resolution authorizing the execution of an Interlocal Agreement with the Port of Tacoma; accepting $601,949 in grant funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for the replacement of one switcher locomotive. [Alan Matheson, Chief Mechanical Officer; Dale King, Rail Superintendent]

Resolution No. 38961 A resolution authorizing the execution of a grant agreement with the Washington State Department of Ecology, in the amount of $200,000; accepting and depositing said sum into the Tacoma Rail Fund, for the replacement of one switcher locomotive. [Alan Matheson, Chief Mechanical Officer; Dale King, Rail Superintendent].

Resolution No. 38962 A resolution authorizing the execution of a lease agreement with Progress Rail Leasing Corporation for two electro-motive diesel locomotives, for a five-year term with the option to purchase, for a cumulative total of lease payments and end of term purchase of $6,985,000, budgeted from the Tacoma Rail Fund. [Alan Matheson, Chief Mechanical Officer; Dale King, Rail Superintendent]

The consent agenda was adopted without comment.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

Tom O'Connor, former Tacoma developer spoke along with Michael Mirra of Tacoma Housing Authority, both in opposition to dropping the affordable housing requirement from the creation of the Point Ruston Mixed Use Center. Both spoke to the importance of affordable housing in all of Tacoma's neighborhoods, and Mirra asked that the Council reinvigorate efforts at implementation of affordable housing policies and strategies in the city. Mirra also asked that the Council make it clear that affordable housing requirements applied to other mixed use centers also apply to Point Ruston.

A representative from FISH Food Banks of Pierce County spoke to thank the Council for its support of FISH programs. Need is up at food banks, and service is up, with an increase in the number of new clients this year.

 

 

REGULAR AGENDA

A motion was made and adopted to authorize the City's full and final settlement of all claims against the City by Hokold Development, LLC, Claim No. 14818, upon payment by the City in the amount of $32,302.50. 

 

APPOINTMENTS

Resolution No. 38963 A resolution appointing individuals to committees that will which will appear in the Voters’ Pamphlet for the Special Municipal Election to be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. [Doris Sorum, City Clerk; Elizabeth Pauli, City Attorney]

An updated list of appointees to the "for" and "against" committees was substituted into the resolution. With the new list, at least one person is named to write "for" statements related to each of the ballot measures, and all but two of the "against" statements. The two items with no names listed for "against" statements are the amendment to update anti-discrimination provisions in the Charter, and the amendment to allow for City employee participation in conservation, environmental, and other programs. The first simply brings Tacoma's Charter in line with state and federal anti-discrimination provisions, and the second seems like a more or less common sense change to allow City employees and elected officials to take advantage of programs generally available to the public. The Pierce County Auditor will now look for individuals to fill those empty committees, so if you've got a burning desire to write statements in opposition to those items, there's still a chance to do so.

 

PURCHASE RESOLUTIONS

Resolution No. 38964 A resolution authorizing the execution of an amendment to the agreement with L.N. Curtis & Sons, in the amount of $160,000, plus sales tax, for a cumulative total of $319,372.23, budgeted from the General Fund, to increase the contract for firefighting hose - Specification No. FD12-0152F. [Roger Edington, Assistant Chief; James P. Duggan, Chief, Tacoma Fire Department]

The item was adopted without Council comment.

 

RESOLUTIONS

Resolution No. 38965 A resolution authorizing the execution of a Letter of Agreement negotiated with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, Click! Network Unit, covering 14 budgeted positions. [Mike Brock, Labor Negotiator; Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

This resolution authorizes the inclusion of sales and service reps into an IBEW, Local Click! unit, and sets wages and increases for the unit.

 

Resolution No. 38966 A resolution authorizing the execution of a Letter of Agreement negotiated with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, Supervisors’ Unit, covering three budgeted positions. [Tara Schaak, Labor Negotiator; Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

This resolution accretes the classification of Assistant Telecommunication Supervisor into the 483 supervisors unit.

 

Resolution No. 38967 A resolution authorizing the execution of a Letter of Agreement negotiated with the Professional and Technical Employees, Local 17, creating a new classification entitled Recovery and Transfer Center Supervisor located within the Environmental Services Department. [Tara Schaak, Labor Negotiator; Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

This resolution consolidates two existing classifications into one with a standard rate of pay, creating for a new classification of Resource and Transfer Center Supervisor at the solid waste facility.

 

Resolution No. 38968 A resolution authorizing the execution of a Collective Bargaining Agreement and Letter of Agreement negotiated with the Washington Council of County and City Employees, Local 120, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, covering 152 budgeted positions effective January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2016. [Mike Brock, Labor Negotiator; Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

This resolution authorizes a four-year agreement related to rates of pay and compensation for employees in Tacoma Power, Tacoma Water, and Information Technology, with wages based on market comparables and other considerations.

 

Resolution No. 38969 A resolution approving an amendment to Article VI, Section 2, of the Charter of the Greater Tacoma Regional Convention Center Public Facilities District, to eliminate, in its entirety, Article VI, Limits on District Powers, to enable the Board to actively participate in the Association of Washington State Public Facilities Districts and to more effectively advocate on behalf of the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. [Jon Houg, Deputy Director; Kim Bedier, Director, Public Assembly Facilities]

This allows the district to join and participate in the association, which provides a platform for advocacy for the Convention Center and the Public Facilities District, including advocating to maintain funding from the 0.033% local sales tax due to sunset in 2019. The change eliminates restrictions, allowing the PFD to advocate for development of state legislation, but not to participate in campaigning for political candidates, which is still prohibited activity.

 

Resolution No. 38970 A resolution adopting the 2015-2019 Human Services Strategic Plan. [Pamela Duncan, Contracting Services Manager; Tansy Hayward, Director, Neighborhood and Community Services]

The purpose of the plan is to identify the City’s most pressing human services issues; to articulate community stakeholder expectations of the Human Services division; to set investment priorities, goals, and funding policies; and to identify the role of the Human Services division in the broader context of social services in Tacoma.

Some changes made to funding priorities include an increased focus on employability and self-sufficiency for adults, and on enhancing mental health and chemical dependency services. Policy changes include the addition of a non-competitive funding policy, and language directing special funding to continue stabilization services, to create an innovation and capacity-building fund, and to create a Mental Health Substance Use Disorder capacity-building fund. Funding criteria are also added requiring that agencies receiving funding participate in local and regional systems work and demonstrate that they value and incorporate equity and empowerment in their programs.

 

Resolution No. 38971 A resolution requesting transmitting 12 ballot measures to the Pierce County Auditor to be placed on the ballot for the Special Municipal Election to be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. [Doris Sorum, City Clerk; Elizabeth Pauli, City Attorney]

This resolution forwards the ballot measures proposing amendments to Tacoma's Charter, as adopted at the July 15 Council meeting. Each item will appear separately on the ballot in November.

 

FINAL READING OF ORDINANCES

Amended Ordinance No. 28229 An amended ordinance approving the proposed 2014 Annual Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Regulatory Code as recommended by the Planning Commission on May 7, 2014, and amending appropriate elements of the Comprehensive Plan. [Brian Boudet, Planning Manager; Peter Huffman, Director, Planning and Development Services]

An amendment was proposed and adopted to move the effective date for the ordinance to August 10, 2014. A second amendment was proposed to include a new housing-related policy to the Comprehensive Plan. The added element addresses developing affordable housing goals, particularly within higher-density areas, stating that consideration should be given to balances of housing stock in the development of plans and guidelines.

The language added to the plan was agreed upon by council members Walker and Mello, Deputy Mayor Woodards, Mayor Strickland, and representatives of Point Ruston, whose new mixed-use center designation has sparked some conversation around what kind of affordable housing requirements are appropriate for mixed-use centers in Tacoma. Affordable housing stakeholders also support the amendment. The amendment is intended to establish parity among Tacoma’s mixed-use centers, supported by an amendment to the following ordinance calling for a re-examination of the 12-year housing development tax incentive.

The affordable-housing related amendment was adopted with council members Boe and Lonergan voting against the amendment. As Boe explained his vote, he is concerned that the language included in the amendment hasn’t been subject to review by the Planning Commission or the public, and thus puts the cart before the horse. The amended ordinance was adopted.

 

Amended Ordinance No. 28230 An amended ordinance amending various chapters of Title 1 and Title 13 of the Municipal Code, relating to the 2014 Annual Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Regulatory Code as recommended by the Planning Commission on May 7, 2014. [Brian Boudet, Planning Manager; Peter Huffman, Director, Planning and Development Services]

An ordinance was proposed and adopted adding language stipulating that the upcoming review of the City’s mixed-use centers should be coordinated with a citywide evaluation of affordable housing needs and goals, and potential new or expanded strategies, incentives, and standards, including a review of the multi-family tax exemption program. The review would evaluate the program and consider modifications to make the 12-year exemption option more attractive. The amendment passed, with support from representatives of the Master Builders Association and Point Ruston.

Councilmember Campbell proposed a further amendment to the ordinance  relating to electric vehicle charging station requirements. EV charger considerations have been back and forth between requirements, recommendations, and no language at all. The language of this final amendment makes it a requirement for all new commercial and institutional development to include EV charging stations at 3% of all parking stalls, up to a cap of 6 spots for most commercial developments. The language that passed further makes a recommendation that 50% of parking in multi-family residential be equipped with electric vehicle charging stations. The amendment also asks the Sustainable Tacoma Commission to report back by the end of the year with more information on EV readiness, particularly in residential contexts

Calling the amendment “very aspirational,” and saying he didn’t see the market to support even the mixed-use requirements we have now, let alone the new requirement and the accompanying cost, Councilmember Boe voted against the amendment. Councilmember Lonergan also voted against the amendment, expressing concern over setting a precedent with a not fully researched recommendation that might easily become a requirement without sufficient discussion.

Other councilmembers spoke in support of the amendment as forward-thinking, but at the public comment opportunity Tom O’Connor spoke to express concern that electric vehicles may be the beta tape of alternative fuel vehicles, ultimately eclipsed by fuel cell vehicles. The representative from the Master Builders called the requirements aspirational, supporting recommendations, but not requirements.

The amendment ultimately passed, with Boe and Lonergan voting against it. The amended ordinance was adopted.

 

FIRST READING OF ORDINANCES

Ordinance No. 28232 An ordinance amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement rates of pay and compensation covering 14 budgeted positions, represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, Click! Network Unit. [Mike Brock, Labor Negotiator; Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

This would implement the rates of pay for the earlier resolution.

 

Ordinance No. 28233 An ordinance amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement rates of pay and compensation, covering three budgeted positions represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, Supervisors’ Unit. [Tara Schaak, Labor Negotiator; Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

This would implement the rates of pay for the second earlier resolution.

 

Ordinance No. 28234 An ordinance amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement rates of pay and compensation for the Recovery and Transfer Center Supervisor, represented by the Professional and Technical Employees, Local 17; and deleting obsolete classifications located within the Environmental Services Department. [Tara Schaak, Labor Negotiator; Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

This would implement compensation for the third earlier resolution.

 

Ordinance No. 28235 An ordinance amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement rates of pay and compensation, and changes in classifications to reflect the organizational structure for employees represented by the Washington State Council of County and City Employees, Local 120, covering 152 budgeted positions. [Mike Brock, Labor Negotiator; Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

This would implement compensation for the fourth earlier resolution.

 

COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS OF THE CITY COUNCIL 

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

  • Heard a presentation on proposed changes to minimum building and structures code coming out of a staff review to make sure it is consistent with state, federal, and international codes.
  • Received an overview presentation on derelict buildings.
  • Heard a presentation on four boundary adjustments proposed as part of neighborhood council review.
  • Received an update on the City’s sidewalk maintenance program. 

At its next meeting the committee will discuss single family development efforts and the impact on neighborhoods.

Councilmember Boe had several events to share.

  • Farmers' Markets continue every week through the summer – 6th Ave on Tuesdays, Broadway on Thursdays, Proctor on Saturdays, South Tacoma on Sundays.
  • This Saturday is the 12th Annual Tacoma Blues and Jazz Festival on South Tacoma Way, with live performances, and a beer garden from 1 to 10 pm. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 at entrance to the event.
  • Also this Saturday is a free drive-in showing of Smokey and the Bandit at the LeMay ACM Haub Family Showfield. The show is free, but donations to the museum are greatly appreciated. Food will be available from Pacific Grill.

Councilmember Campbell also had several events to share.

  • The Crystal Judson Family Center barbecue will be held this Friday at 11:30 a.m. It’s a fundraiser at the Family Justice Center parking lot.
  • This weekend’s community cleanup will be for residents of South Wapato, North Wapato, and Giaudrone neighborhoods on Saturday from 10 to 2.
  • Save the dates:  August 4 will be the district 4 Community Budget Input Meeting, August 13 will be a new Tacoma neighborhood forum on graffiti, and August 16 will be the return of McKinley Hill Street Fair at 30th and McKinley

 

Councilmember Lonergan invited everyone to this week's Community Budget Input Meeting for District 5 – even if you're not a District 5 resident - at Birney Elementary this Thursday, July 24 at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the latest

Deputy Mayor Woodards shared a couple events as well for this weekend.

  • Ethnic Fest in Wright Park this Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 7 p.m. with all kinds of music, food, entertainment, booths, and more.
  • After Ethnic Fest on Saturday, the Click! movie in the park will be the Lego Movie, in Wright Park.

​Mayor Strickland and Councilmember Thoms were absent from this week’s meeting.

ADJOURNMENT

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


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Comments

Sid

“A study performed by Kansas City-based nonprofit The Kauffman Foundation and Thumbtack.com has given Tacoma a ā€œCā€ grade for overall friendliness to small business.”

“Tacoma received a C- for overall regulatory friendliness, including a C grade for its zoning laws.”

I wonder why.

http://www.businessexaminer.com/blog/July-2014/Tacoma-gets-C-in-small-biz-friendliness/

July 24, 2014 at 7:12 am / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0

JDHasty

When a Council member decides to purchase a vehicle that is not supported and subsequently gets his fellow Council members to strong arm a third party into footing the bill it naturally follows that Tacoma is a hostile place to set up a business in.  Large companies can absorb the incremental cost of all the add-on expense, but start up businesses and especially sole proprietorships cannot.

July 24, 2014 at 8:33 am / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 2

Jenny JRegistered

If you click through to the link for that study, it doesn’t seem to be a very precise measure - most of the questions ask about state and local conditions, or just about state conditions. On top of that, it’s not very transparent about their methodology, and the site appears to be primarily designed as link bait.

I’m not saying the overall conclusion would necessarily be very different if a more trustworthy study was done, but that website doesn’t give me much faith in the “grades” it assigns.

July 24, 2014 at 10:15 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Sid

I used to own a business in Tacoma, a very well known one for that matter.  I can tell you first hand that Tacoma gets an F.  When I write things in this blog, it is not because I am an angry old man pointing things out just because.  I have lived it and continue to see the stupidity that takes place here on a daily basis.  What Mr. Campbell has done is tell businesses that might have been considering coming here, not to.  Why in the world would I want to set up a business here where some clown that drives around in a machine that he believes is going to save the world and chose to drive, is forcing me to cater to him.  A bike rack, ok, an electric set up for his toy, no way.  Maybe he should ride a bike.

July 24, 2014 at 12:27 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Xeno

This is for new development of commercial buildings between 1 and 3% of their total parking, capped at what 12 spaces?  Most new development and redevelopment are voluntarily putting EV stations in already because the writing is on the wall that you want the conduit in the ground for when the demand is there.  Also when you’re building a 10-100 million dollar project we’re talking budget dust here for a station at 2.5-6k a pop.  This is as burdensome as requiring businesses to have doors or toilets. 

And most of these businesses won’t even be paying for this, it is going to be developers that will lease property.  The fact is, once we aren’t on gasoline anymore (yes it will eventually happen!) we’ll become one of the most business friendliest cities that actually invested the infrastructure to allow people to park and charge.

July 24, 2014 at 4:47 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 0

JDHasty

“the writing is on the wall that you want the conduit in the ground for when the demand is there”


No, it is YOU who want something YOU are not willing to make the necessary sacrifices to pay for and YOU want someone else to pay for what YOU want.

July 27, 2014 at 7:19 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 4

Xeno

The facts are there, developers are voluntarily putting this conduit in the ground.  Get with the times gramps, people are making sound investments in EV conduit because it is the future.  I don’t make necessary sacrifices to build sidwalk but the City does require businesses and developers to build it if they want to do business in the city.  Sheesh, you’re clueless, none of your hyper-conservative libertarian ethic actually makes sense in the real world.  Ayn Rand would drive an EV car, you should too.

July 28, 2014 at 2:02 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jim C

http://www.pluginolympia.com/evcarstats.htm

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=population+of+pierce+county

Since the registration stats were by county I’m using the county’s population for the calculation although I realize the majority of the owners are probably in town:  one one-thousandth of one percent.  That’s the number of county residents that registered an EV from 2010-2013.  I appreciate Councilman Boe’s public candor on the issue.

July 24, 2014 at 9:30 am / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 2

Dan

Why did the US government invest in transcontinental railroads in the 1860’s? Nobody even rode trains to the west coast back then.

July 24, 2014 at 9:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

3 | 0

Jim C

Back then the alternative was a horse.  I don’t think anyone’s ready to compare the Nissan Leaf to the transcontinental railroad just yet.

July 25, 2014 at 9:06 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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JDHasty

Utter and complete nonsense.  There was expressed demand for trains by the general population, there isn’t demand for Nissan Leaf cars except from the far reaches of the lunatic fringe.  There is NO demand whatsoever without the subsidies that underwrite the cost of producing them.

July 27, 2014 at 7:25 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 4

Xeno

There is plenty of demand for electric vehicles.  It takes a rudementary knowledge of economics to know many people base their vehicle choice and mode of travel based off of fuel expenses and obviously electric vehicles being superior to all others in that category.  It has only been recently that the cars have been able to prove their reliability and extending the mileage of the technology.  Obviously car companies are building them if there is demand.  A fourth grader could figure that out.

July 28, 2014 at 8:43 am / Reply / Quote and reply

3 | 0

JDHasty

“Obviously car companies are building them if there is demand.”

A third grader could figure out that car companies would not be building there were not huge subsidies underwriting the cost of producing them.  The only “demand” for them is created by subsidies.

July 28, 2014 at 12:07 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 2

Xeno

That third grader would fail microeconomics.  While it is true that subsidies help fuel demand amoung complimentary vehicles, prices have fallen substantially from intial EV offerings, well below the subsidies offered thus proving demand exists with or without the subsidies.  Also, car companies have been producing these cars before the legislation was in place to offer the subsidies.

July 28, 2014 at 1:56 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0

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