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Tacoma City Council Meeting - March 1, 2016
It was another fairly concise council meeting for this first week of March. Not that we have any complaints about that. Nothing too controversial here. Final decisions will come on the changes proposed in this week's ordinances related to how the City handles fees for companies like Uber, and how it deals with people living in their vehicles.
Resolution No. 39392 A resolution authorizing an increase to the contract with Gilchrist Chevrolet Buick GMC, Inc., in the amount of $43,075.31, for a cumulative total of $215,376.55, plus sales tax, budgeted from the Fire Miscellaneous Special Revenue Fund, for one 2015 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.
The resolution was adopted without comment.
Resolution No. 39393 A resolution authorizing the execution of an intergovernmental agreement with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians to allow for the conveyance of surplus properties, with an estimated value of $248,680, to the Tribe as “just compensation” for the acquisition of additional right-of-way on Tribal lands for reconstruction of segments of the Puyallup Avenue Bridge.
The City will trade parcels of property it owns to the Tribe, in exchange for land needed to complete the reconstruction of the Puyallup River Bridge.
Resolution No. 39394 A resolution authorizing the execution of a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Teamsters Local 117, General Unit, which consists of approximately 197 budgeted full-time equivalent positions, retroactive to January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2018.
This negotiated agreement covers four years through 2018, with negotiated wage rate adjustments during that time, as well as other changes.
Resolution No. 39395 A resolution authorizing the execution of a Letter of Understanding with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, Tacoma Power Unit, creating two new classifications entitled Hydro Project Electrician, Apprentice and Hydro Project Mechanic, Apprentice.
This agreement creates two new classifications and associated wage rates, including apprenticeship programs, for which standards are being developed, ahead of available positions being announced.
FIRST READING OF ORDINANCES
Ordinance No. 28347 An ordinance amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement rates of pay and compensation for employees represented by the Teamsters Local 117, General Unit, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, Tacoma Power Unit.
This ordinance would implement the agreements adopted in the previous resolutions.
Ordinance No. 28348 An ordinance amending Chapter 2.01 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Minimum Building and Structures Code, and Section 11.05.231, relating to the Human Habitation of Vehicles, to eliminate sections which refer to improper use of recreational vehicles, and to clarify language to allow for clear and consistent enforcement.
The changes requested in this ordinance are being recommended to reflect recent legal developments, and to allow for better opportunities for outreach to people experiencing homelessness.
The legal issues at play relate to a recent Ninth Circuit Court opinion that found a similar ordinance prohibiting living in a car to be unconstitutionally vague, potentially leading to selective enforcement.
In an effort to balance the concerns of residents with the fact that others don’t have homes, the City of Tacoma is proposing to extend the period of allowable human habitation of a vehicle from 24 hours to 7 days. This extended time would allow City staff to conduct more thorough outreach to the individuals involved, making it more likely that they could be connected with appropriate services, ideally leading to a longer-term solution.
The ordinance would also remove language from the City code treating “improper use of an RV” as a building code violation, and adds a definition of “human habitation” to the code.
Ordinance No. 28349 An ordinance amending Chapter 6B.220 of the Municipal Code, relating to For-Hire Regulations, to establish a new annual license fee for Transportation Network Companies (TNC) to cover administrative and regulatory costs, and to no longer issue For-Hire Driver Identification Cards and Vehicle Endorsements to affiliated drivers of a TNC as long as all licensing requirements are met.
Now that the City has a clearer picture of what the regulation and enforcement of the TNC industry looks like for Tacoma, changes are being recommended to the rules initially established in 2014. These changes would establish a process for calculating an annual fee to cover the costs of enforcement and administration of the industry, based on number of drivers. The 2016 fee for the one TNC operating in Tacoma would not only cover the costs anticipated for 2016, but would also recoup additional costs incurred in 2015.
Additionally, the changes do away with the requirement for a City-issued driver ID and vehicle endorsement, as the TNC app already provides this information. The City has been working with the one operating TNC, and has agreement from them to move forward with these changes.
COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS OF THE CITY COUNCIL
Infrastructure, Planning, and Sustainability Committee – Deputy Mayor Mello reported on recent issues addressed by the committee.
- Heard briefings on the City’s Environmental Action Plan and Climate Resiliency Study. The EAP is a five year plan with targets and measures for environmental improvements to be implemented. The CRS identifies potential risks to City infrastructure related to climate change.
- Discussed the sustainable materials management plan, and traffic model ordinance updates.
- Received briefings from the Transportation and Sustainable Tacoma commissions on their work last year and plans for 2016.
- Discussed results of the plastic bag survey, and asked staff to pursue further outreach to the community, and asked that staff prepare draft legislation based on what Bellingham does. Watch for more discussion this spring.
Councilmember Woodards announced that she attended the South Puget Sound Boys and Girls Club’s Youth of the Year award event, where Mayor Strickland was inducted into the B&G hall of fame for her support of youth in Tacoma, and Kalayah DeGregory was named the Youth of the Year. Woodards congratulated Kalayah, and said she sees great things in her future.
Councilmember McCarthy wished Councilmember Ibsen a happy birthday. McCarthy also shared his pride in serving as a part of the council following Mayor Strickland’s State of the City Address. He described her as a “world class mayor” and Tacoma as a “world class city.”
Deputy Mayor Mello encouraged everyone to come by the annual South Sound Sustainability Expo this Saturday, March 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Tacoma’s Convention Center, and take advantage of the activities, local vendors, organizations, and other opportunities related to improving the sustainability of our community.
Councilmember Blocker announced that his second newsletter as council member would be coming out later this month, including a featured youth of the month and highlighted community organizations.
For more on the items on this week’s agenda, see our City Business Preview for the week.
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