Tacoma City Council Meeting - June 4, 2013


Mayor Strickland recognized Kyoungsu Kim, an Exchange Official from Gunsan,South Korea for her contributions to the sister city program specifically and the city of Tacoma in general.


Just two commenters this week.  Robert Hill came forward to speak in support (we think) of the proposed rate changes for Click! cable, stating that he hoped to see an arts channel included in offerings, and to make some comments on the proposed taxicab regulations, suggesting that cabs should have both front- and rear-facing cameras installed.  Seems reasonable enough.  A representative from the Master Builders Association spoke in favor of the proposed amendments to the building code.


A motion was made to authorize the City’s full and final settlement of all claims against the City by Way and Mah Lui, Yuen Lui Studios, Inc., Claim No. 13912, upon payment by the City in the amount of $106,810.

The motion was adopted without comment.


Purchase Resolution No. 38677 Awarding contracts to:

  1. SeaWestern, Inc., on its bid of $872,859.93, for a MSA Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, accessory equipment, and replacement parts for structural firefighting and other emergencies; and $225,000.00 for optional equipment and replacement parts for a five-year period, for a projected contract total of $1,097,859.93, plus sales tax, budgeted from various funds – Specification No. FD13-0135F; [Michael Fitzgerald, Fire Department Manager; James Duggan, Chief, Tacoma Fire] 
  2. Titan Earthwork, LLC, on its bid of $1,838,846.27, plus sales tax, plus a 10 percent contingency, for a cumulative contact total of $2,022,730.90, budgeted from the Solid Waste Fund, for construction of an expanded truck parking lot and associated improvements at the Tacoma Landfill – Specification No. ES13-0027F; and [Geoffrey M. Smyth, P.E., Science and Engineering Division Manager; Michael P. Slevin III, P.E., Director, Environmental Services] 
  3. Motorola Solutions, Inc., in the amount of $127,642.00, plus sales tax, budgeted from the Radio Communication Fund, for an initial two-year contract for depot repair services and technical support services of the City’s 800 MHz network communication system, with the option for three additional two-year terms, for a project contract total of $762,730.00 – Sole Source. [Steve Taylor, Networks and Communications Manager; Michelle Lewis-Hodges, Director, Information Technology]

The resolution was adopted without comment.

Resolution No. 38678 Authorizing the execution of a Memorandum of Agreement with Pierce County, the Cities of Lakewood and Fife, and West Pierce Fire and Rescue regarding the financing of capital assets for South Sound 9-1-1. [Tansy Hayward, Assistant City Manager; T.C. Broadnax, City Manager]

In 2011 Tacoma entered into an interlocal agreement with other Pierce County municipalities to form South Sound 911 for greater regional interoperability and efficiency of emergency dispatch services.  Pierce County voters adopted a 0.1% sales tax to upgrade aging dispatch facilities, and radio equipment.  The interlocal agreement makes Pierce County responsible for issuing bonds to fund South Sound 911, but also requires participating agencies to agree on how to fund the program if the sales tax funds were ever to go away or become insufficient to meet costs.  The new agreement says that Tacoma and other partnering agencies would pay a fee to enable SS911 to continue, if that were ever to happen (although everyone seems to agree that such a situation is highly unlikely to ever arise).


Ordinance No. 28153 Amending Chapter 12.13 of the Municipal Code, relating to Click! Network Cable TV Products, to revise rates for cable television products and related services, effective August 1, 2013. [Pam Burgess, Business Operations Manager; Tenzin Gyaltsen, General Manager, Click! Network]

The rate increases requested in this ordinance come in response to ongoing increases in programming costs.  Click! has already made more than $9 million in cuts to labor, operating, maintenance, and other costs.  The new rates will be comparable to, or slightly better than competitors, and lower than those in surrounding markets.

Ordinance No. 28154 Amending Chapter 6B.220 of the Municipal Code, relating to taxi regulations, to further specify digital security camera requirements, clarify additional taxicab vehicle and driver requirements, and update language consistent with other licensing sections of the Municipal Code. [Danielle Larson, Tax and License Division Manager; Andrew Cherullo, Director, Finance]

The changes in this ordinance primarily clarify digital camera requirements, along with a few clarifications on driver and vehicle safety requirements.  Camera requirements make changes to allow drivers greater choice in camera vendors and types, provide both drivers and law enforcement with access to the images, require unobstructed views of both driver and passenger, require images be retained for five days, require a status indicator light to show cameras are operational, and require signage in and out of the vehicle notifying passengers of the presence of the camera.  


Ordinance No. 28155  Repealing and reenacting Chapters 2.02, 2.06, 2.07, and 2.10 of the Municipal Code to implement the 2012 International Building, Residential, Existing Building, Mechanical, and Fuel Gas Codes; the 2012 Uniform Plumbing Code; and the 2012 Washington State Energy Code, to establish the minimum requirements for building construction to safeguard the public’s health, safety, and welfare, effective July 1, 2013. [Sue Coffman, Professional Engineer; Peter Huffman, Interim Director, Planning and Development Services]

This ordinance would adopt local amendments to the national and state building codes going into effect this year.  One amendment would retain Tacoma’s “5 over 2” rule, which allows five stories of wood construction over two stories of concrete - one more story of wood than the national standards allow.  Other changes include sustainability codes related to water and energy conservation, and a requirement for business licensing in order to issue building permits; this is designed to ensure proper tax collection from contractors.  A separate effort is also underway to increase flexibility for the creation of live/work spaces; City staff is working with the fire department and stakeholders on this effort.

Ordinance No. 28156 Repealing and reenacting Chapter 3.02 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Fire Prevention Code; providing for the issuance of permits and penalties for violation; and adopting local amendments to the 2012 International Fire Code along with the State of Washington amendments, effective July 1, 2013. [Ryan Erickson, Fire Code Official; James Duggan, Chief, Tacoma Fire]

This ordinance would adopt local amendments to the state fire code.  This time around the amendments being requested are minor, and mainly clerical changes.





City Manager Broadnax recognized a new employee, Management Fellow Christina Watts who is completing her Masters in public administration, and will be with the City Manager’s office for two years.



Public Safety, Human Services, and Education Committee - Councilmember Woodards shared the work of the committee.

  • Heard from the fire department on regional emergency planning for hazard mitigation, which is updated on a five-year cycle.
  • Heard from human services about its end of year performance update on contracts with and through the human services division.
  • Received an update on the memorandum of agreement with South Sound 911 members regarding financing.

    Councilmember Boe gave an update on Pacific Avenue Streetscape work, and encouraged everyone to come downtown to check out the newly completed sidewalk paving on the west side of Pacific between 7th and 9th, and encouraging everyone to come down to support businesses in that strip like Dorky’s, Tacoma Cabana, and the palm reader while construction continues, and the closure of Schuster Parkway continues to affect them. 

    Councilmember Ibsen shared two events coming up this Wednesday: an 11 a.m. ribbon cutting for Catholic Community Services’ new Nativity House, and a noon ribbon cutting with the Foss Waterway Development Authority for the new seaplane moorage at Thea’s Park.

    Councilmember Lonergan invited everyone to come on down to the new South Tacoma Goodwill Store grand opening this Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Doors open at 9:00 for shopping.

    Mayor Strickland announced that the City of Tacoma won Best City in the South Sound in this year’s South Sound Magazine Best of the South Sound awards.  


    Well, since they brought it up, we thought we might as well mention that Exit133 was also a winner in the Best of the South Sound 2013 awards.  Thanks to all our readers who voted us best Blog in the South Sound. We’re sincerely touched.

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