Tacoma City Council Meeting - July 28, 2015


One commenter spoke regarding the Citizen Commission on Elected Salaries, commenting that she was saddened by how late in the game the appointments are being made, given her understanding that there is a September 1 deadline. She asked that the council consider extending the deadline to allow the commissioners more time to do their work.




Resolution No. 39241 A resolution appointing and reappointing individuals to the Transportation Commission.

Councilmember Mello noted that the council had numerous qualified and passionate citizens apply to serve on the commission, which influences council decisions on policies affecting how goods and people move around the city. The citizens on the commission recently wrapped up work on the first ever draft of a Transportation Master Plan for Tacoma, which is currently working its way through the review process, prior to adoption by the council. The commission will continue to monitor performance measures related to the implementation of the plan.


Resolution No. 39242 A resolution appointing individuals to the Citizen Commission on Elected Salaries.

This appoints citizens to serve on the commission, which was created coming out of last fall’s election. Two members of the commission were named by the mayor, while the remaining five were drawn by lottery conducted by the Pierce County Auditor. The resolution was adopted with a minor amendment adjusting terms for the commissioners to align with the schedule for their recommendations.


Resolution No. 39243 A resolution appointing individuals to committees to prepare statements “for” and “against” Initiative No. 1, establishing a minimum wage for the City of Tacoma; Initiative No. 1B, an alternative measure to establishing a minimum wage; Initiative No. 2, changing the form of government, Council composition, and term limits; and Proposition No. 3, regarding street improvements, which will appear in the Voters’ Pamphlet for the November 3, 2015, General Election.

A full slate of citizen names for each committee will be forwarded to the County Auditor’s office. The resolution was adopted with an amendment to make the last minute addition of a few names to fill out the slate.



Resolution No. 39244 A resolution awarding a contract to Glacier Construction Services, Inc., in the amount of $872,024.00, plus a 20 percent contingency, for a cumulative total of $1,046,428.80, excluding sales tax, budgeted from the Solid Waste Fund, for the repairs to the existing Tacoma landfill cover.

Resolution No. 39245 A resolution awarding a contract to WebPE, Inc., in the amount of $298,025, sales tax not applicable, budgeted from the Wastewater Fund, to upgrade the electronic Operations and Maintenance manual through December 2016.

Resolution No. 39246 A resolution awarding a contract to Right! Systems, Inc., in the amount of $258,404.30, plus sales tax, budgeted from the Information Systems Fund, for one-year of Cisco SMARTnet maintenance for City Cisco networking equipment, for the period of August 11, 2015 through August 10, 2016.

All three purchase resolutions were adopted without comment. Are we the only ones who miss the days when we used to get to hear a little more about this?



Resolution No. 39247 A resolution designating the Born-Lindstrom House, located at 224 North Yakima Avenue, as a City Landmark and placing said property on the Tacoma Register of Historic Places.

The home has been listed on the National Historic District registry, but has not been listed on a local registry. It falls within Tacoma’s boundaries for the Stadium Historic District, but this recognizes the house’s historic significance, both as one of the oldest homes in the area, built in 1889, and its significance as home to families who played significant roles in Tacoma’s early history.


Resolution No. 39248 A resolution authorizing the execution of Amendment No. 2 to the Professional Services Contract with Summit Law Group, in the amount of $200,000, for a cumulative total of $400,000, budgeted from the General Fund, to bargain and complete contract negotiations or mediation and advise on labor negotiation matters, and extending the term of the contract to December 31, 2018.

The City of Tacoma negotiates with 28 separate bargaining units and 14 unions representing City employees. There are currently nine contracts open or in negotiations. The City’s office that deals with these negotiations only has eight staff negotiators, so their work has been supplemented with this outside contract. This resolution supplements the scope of work and extends the current contract. The resolution was adopted with one nay vote.


Resolution No. 39249 A resolution directing the City Manager to create a transparent fund structure for the dedication and segregation of any monies received related to Proposition No. 3, should the voters approve said proposition, for the sole purpose of financing improvements and safety upgrades to the City’s streets and transportation infrastructure.

Two weeks ago the council passed a resolution placing Proposition No. 3 on the ballot for the November election. This resolution implements amendments made to that resolution, making provisions for increased transparency and accountability, by directing City staff to coordinate efforts to create a transparent fund structure to segregate funds raised if Prop 3 passes, directing that they should be used for the sole purpose of road improvements as outlined by the proposition.



Ordinance No. 28309 An ordinance amending Section 8.52.020 of the Municipal Code, relating to Unlawful Transit Conduct, to criminalize the use of electronic smoking devices on transit property, and to allow for an exception for the use of electronic or traditional smoking instruments in specifically authorized areas.

The ordinance can be boiled down to two goals. The first explicitly criminalizes the use of e-cigarettes on transit or at transit facilities, categorizing them in the same way as regular cigarettes. The second then creates an exception for both e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco smoking methods, allowing smokers to use them in specially designated areas. The first goal would put Tacoma at the forefront of legislation, but implementing rules governing e-cigarettes; the second would bring Tacoma’s rules in line with current state law.


Ordinance No. 28310 An ordinance amending Section 1.06.075 of the Municipal Code, relating to Police Department Citizen-Initiated Complaint Oversight, to change the name of the Citizen Review Panel to the Citizen Police Advisory Committee; increase the number of members from seven to eleven; and revise the duties of the Committee.

The name change included in this resolution comes from a request from the committee chair, who requested the change to better represent the work done by the group and its relationship with TPD. The change in number of citizens on the committee puts one representative from each city council district on the committee, along with one youth representative, and the remaining five representatives of the city at large. The new makeup of the committee also includes a requirement that at least 40% of its members be from traditionally underrepresented groups.

The changes in duties come from a request made by Councilmember Woodards to consider the City’s Equity and Empowerment Initiative, and were made particularly in light of recent events across the country. The changes in duties include

  • playing a role in fostering understanding and communication between the public and the police
  • reviewing and advising the Chief of Police on community relations between police department and community
  • forward recommended strategies to the council, city manager, and police chief on police department rules, policies, training, and programs.


Government Performance and Finance Committee – Councilmember Lonergan reported on recent work of the committee.

  • Selected volunteers to serve on the “for” and “against” committees for initiatives 1, 1B, 2, Prop 3, and Prop 4.
  • Interviewed candidates to serve on the TPU board and made recommendation
  • Reviewed draft rules for the paid leave ordinance
  • Heard from Tacoma Water on a contract with RockTenn

At its next meeting the committee will hear update on fire inspection fee implementation and emergency radio services fees, and on Puget Sound Energy franchise renewal.

Councilmember Woodards invited everyone to join the Tacoma Ministerial Alliance’s fifth annual Thousand Man Family March and Festival this Saturday. Meet at 25th and MLK at 10 a.m. to march to People’s Park, where there will be a fair with choirs, artists, inspirational speakers, free school supplies for the kids, and more.

Woodards also announced that this weekend Tacoma will kick off the “Hate Won’t Win Challenge,” which asks everyone to react to hate and fear by showing forgiveness and doing an act of kindness for someone different from themselves. That event launches with the help of the granddaughter of one of the Charleston Nine at Bethlehem Baptist Church on Sunday, August 2 from 3 to 5 p.m. Learn more here.


Councilmember Ibsen reminded us of a couple upcoming events in his district.

  • Mason Gulch open house – Thursday, July 30 at 6 p.m. at the University of Puget Sound rotunda. Learn about and comment on City plans to partner with Metro Parks for the management of the Mason Gulch open space.
  • Proctor Art Fest – Saturday, August 1 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The family-friendly festival returns to the Proctor District with art, live music, food, and more.

Councilmember Campbell reminded us that every Wednesday the new Eastside Farmers’ Market happens at 44th and R Street in Salishan. Campbell also announced that the Salishan neighborhood will participate in National Night Out next Tuesday, and that he plans on being there, specifically in the dunk tank, and that everyone is invited.

ADJOURNMENT... of the regular City Council meeting. Now for the TBD board meeting.



City of Tacoma Transportation Benefit District Governing Board Agenda


The same commenter from earlier returned to once again express concern over the late hour for appointments, this time to the “for” and “against” committees. She noted that no copy of the resolution was available, so she didn’t know who was being named, and that although she was sure they would do their best, the last minute naming seemed to be an injustice to those who would volunteer their time for the job. She called the issue of last-minute appointments to committees and commissions a recurring problem for the council, and suggested that when an issue was coming down the pipeline, and seemed likely to need citizen committee involvement, the rallying of stakeholders and possible participants could happen more proactively and in a more organized fashion. This, she suggested, might replace the “last minute scramble to find any warm body who’s not on vacation,” with a more productive process. Point taken.




Resolution No. TBD009 A resolution appointing individuals to committees to prepare statements “for” and “against” Proposition No. 4, concerning street improvements, which will appear in the Voters’ Pamphlet for the November 3, 2015, General Election.

Appointments were made, including the addition of two last-minute additions to the "against" committee.


Resolution No. TBD010 A resolution directing staff to create a transparent fund structure for the dedication and segregation of any monies received related to Proposition No. 4, should the voters approve said proposition, for the sole purpose of financing improvements and safety upgrades to the City’s streets and transportation infrastructure.

As with the earlier parallel resolution relating to Prop 3, this resolution implements amendments to improve transparency and accountability through the creation of a transparent fund structure to dedicate money raised specifically to road improvements.




This week’s presentations seemed even more scripted and/or hurried than usual. Maybe it’s because we're suffering from summer vacation brain, but we’re hoping for, if not more passion, at least more than what's already printed in City documents. We know most of the world seems to be on summer vacation, but some of us are listening. Anyone else interested in an improv version of City Council meetings?

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

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