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Tacoma City Council Meeting - September 17, 2013
Mayor Strickland proclaimed September 20, 2013 as POW/MIA Day in the City of Tacoma, commemorating the sacrifice made by soldiers held captive and missing in action, and honoring Tacoma and Pierce County residents who served our country to protect our freedoms.
The Mayor also proclaimed September 22, 2013 as Downtown to Defiance Sunday Parkways Day in the City of Tacoma. On Sunday, September 22, between 8 a.m. and noon the public is invited to celebrate active transportation along the seven mile stretch between the Tacoma Dome and Point Defiance. The event will include a kids' ride, women's ride, and extended rides by Tacoma Wheelmen's, as well as walking, running, "active rest-stops," a pedal lounge powered by local and regional officials, and a celebration at the Point Defiance end. More than 750 individuals are already registered for the free event, but there's still time to join in. There will also be some road closures to be aware of that make the full route possible.
And last, but not least, the Mayor proclaimed Wednesday, September 18 as Safe Streets Day in the City of Tacoma, honoring the work done by Safe Streets to reduce gang and drug activity, improve communities, and provide residents with tools to identify, address, and eradicate crime in their neighborhoods; and the particular focus of Safe Streets on grassroots leadership through citizen empowerment and youth-led change.
We had a good showing for public comment this week, with the bulk coming in response to the resolution relating to Tacoma's Shoreline Master Program update. Commenters spoke in support of continuing to focus on environmental restoration of, and public and recreational access to the stretch of waterfront along Schuster Parkway, and blocking new industrial uses. Speakers mentioned Tacoma's image, quality of life, environmental concerns, mobility and connectivity, and other reasons for their support of the prohibition on new layberth uses along the stretch.
Other comments came from supporters of the ordinance to strengthen prevention of demolition of historic buildings through neglect. Speakers thanked Council for breaking new ground in the area of historic preservation, stressing the importance of saving historic structures before they are beyond help. We also heard a speaker in favor of the ordinance creating the Street Operations and Maintenance Fund and the Transportation Capital and Engineering Fund.
Resolution No. 38729 A resolution appointing Bennish Brown to serve on the Greater Tacoma Regional Convention Center Public Facilities District Board of Directors to fill an unexpired four-year term through October 31, 2016. [Doris Sorum, City Clerk; Elizabeth Pauli, City Attorney]
The Board is a group of volunteers who look at the finances to make sure the City is doing what it should be doing, and provide support to help fill up the venue. Mr. Brown is also the President of the Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
Resolution No. 38730 A resolution appointing Shalisa Hayes to serve on the City Events and Recognitions Committee for a three-year term to expire July 31, 2016. [Doris Sorum, City Clerk; Elizabeth Pauli, City Attorney]
The City Events and Recognition Committee was formed earlier this year to coordinate City-hosted events, specifically the annual MLK Jr Day celebration and City of Destiny Awards.
Resolution No. 38731 A resolution awarding a contract to Motorola Solutions, Inc., in the amount of $1,457,937.71, plus sales tax, budgeted from the Radio Communications Fund and the CIP LTGO 2010 Bond Fund, for a one-time purchase of TDMA/SmartZone radios and dispatch consoles - Sole Source. [Steve Taylor, Networks and Communications
The resolution was adopted without comment.
Resolution No. 38732 A resolution awarding a contract to Pierce County Security, Inc., in the amount of $102,600.00 sales tax not applicable, for a cumulative contract total of $404,342.50, budgeted from the General Fund, to increase the contract for security guard services for the Tacoma Municipal Building and Tacoma Municipal Building North - Specification No. PW09-0130F. [Jeffrey Jenkins, Facilities Management Division Manager; Kurtis Kingsolver, Interim Director, Public Works]
This resolution was also adopted without comment.
Resolution No. 38733 A resolution designating the City Charter Review as a special project of limited duration, and designating general salary classifications and benefits for persons employed on the project pursuant to Tacoma Municipal Code 1.12.155 and 1.24.187 and Section 6.1(h) of the Tacoma City Charter. [Doris Sorum, City Clerk; Elizabeth Pauli, City Attorney]
In accordance with the City Charter and Tacoma Municipal Code, a review of the Tacoma City Charter is required every 10 years. This resolution allows for the hiring of one staff person to support the work of the 17-member citizen charter review committee.
Resolution No. 38734 A resolution relating to the update of the Shoreline Master Program; responding to the Department of Ecology’s conditional approval, accepting the majority of the Department’s required and recommended changes, and proposing an alternative intent statement for the proposed S-6/7 Transition District. [Stephen Atkinson, Associate Planner, Planning Division; Peter Huffman, Interim Director, Planning and Development Services]
After several years and more than 60 public meetings, Tacoma's draft Shoreline Master Program should represent the goals of the community involved in all that planning. The SMP is a partnership between Tacoma and the state's Department of Ecology; once Tacoma's plan is finalized, it becomes part of the larger state plan. Of the changes handed down from Ecology, the one that is not being accepted outright has to do with prohibited versus conditional uses in the S-6/7 Schuster Parkway transition zone; specifically, Ecology wants Tacoma to change layberth operations from a prohibited to a conditional use for the zone. This resolution accepts that change to conditional use, but amends the intent statement for the district to clarify the vision for the shoreline area, and provide additional guidance for review of permits in the area. That language reads as follows:
The intent of the S‐6/7 Schuster Parkway Transition Shoreline District is to recognize that trends in the character and use of the area have focused on shoreline restoration and environmental clean‐up, open space, and public access recreation and that these trends are expected and encouraged to continue over time; to conditionally allow for low intensity port/industrial uses associated with the natural deep water that are demonstrably compatible with the adjacent residential areas, business district, schools, recreation and park properties; and to encourage the continued transition to low intensity water‐oriented commercial, recreational, and open space activities. Considerations for determining compatibility should include an evaluation of, at a minimum, possible view impacts, noise, light, emissions, and interference with the public use of public shorelines and the long term vision for enhanced public access. Any development within the District must contribute to the extension of public access from the Ruston Way Shoreline District promenade to the Thea Foss Waterway esplanade.
This language is designed to support the long-term goal for the area to become more like Ruston Way, and less like the Port industrial district. The resolution was adopted, so the proposed language now goes to Ecology for a decision. The end of this six-year process may be nearly in sight.
FINAL READING OF ORDINANCES
Ordinance No. 28170 Amending Chapter 2.04 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Electrical Code, to update and clarify electrical licensing requirements and exemptions. [James Hellman, Chief Electrical Inspector; Ted Coates, Superintendent, Tacoma Power]
Councilmember Boe, who was absent for last week's first reading of the ordinance, and did not have the supporting documents for the ordinance abstained from the vote on the item, which passed..
Ordinance No. 28172 Amending Title 8 of the Municipal Code, relating to historic properties, to create a new Chapter 8.35 entitled “Preventing Neglect of Historic Properties” to provide additional enforcement tools to prevent ongoing neglect of historic properties. [Reuben McKnight, Historic Preservation Officer; Peter Huffman, Interim Director, Planning and Development Services]
Existing funds in the budget will be set aside from the Dangerous Buildings Fund, and put in a newly created Emergency Preservation Sub-Fund. When needed the City will access a building and use those funds to stabilize the property. A lien would be placed on the property to recover the cost. The ordinance passed unanimously.
FIRST READING OF ORDINANCES
Ordinance No. 28173 An ordinance relating to the budget of the City of Tacoma; creating two new funds to be known and designated as the “Street Operations and Maintenance Fund” and the “Transportation Capital and Engineering Fund”; to promote sustainability and transparency for revenue collections and expenditures related to transportation infrastructure and maintenance. [Andy Cherullo, Director, Finance]
Questions have arisen around ensuring transparency and financial accountability for the funds that would be generated if Tacoma's Prop 1 passes this November. This ordinance addresses the question of how the City will ensure that these funds are spent on road repairs and improvements by creating a new fund dedicated for management of Proposition 1 revenues.
None this week.
REPORTS BY THE CITY MANAGER
COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS OF THE CITY COUNCIL
Neighborhoods and Housing Committee – Councilmember Walker reported on topics covered by the committee.
- Neighborhood council review recommendations, including adjusting neighborhood council boundaries for better alignment, Increasing opportunities for community involvement and diversity, strengthening the innovative grant program, and providing more opportunities for communication and transparency. Next steps include convening a working group and finalizing recommendations.
- Discussion of the proposed new chapter to prevent neglect of historic properties, which was passed in this meeting.
- Information on the City's revised homeless encampments clean-up and work on that program over the last nine months.
- A follow-up presentation on the proposed single family blight abatement program.
- Update on the innovative grants program
At its next meeting the committee will hear updates on community clean-ups and mural sites.
Councilmember Boe shared a list of reminders.
- Next week is Bike to Work Week, and will include a number of events around town, including "brake breaks" on Monday, September 23 at 9th and Broadway, Bike around Downtown with the City Council on Wednesday, and a bike pub crawl on Friday.
- Puget Sound Revels will host Tacoma Sings this Sunday, September 22, on the Chihuly Bridge of Glass at 6:30 p.m., begins at the museum side and singing across the bridge to welcome in autumn.
- This Friday is Park(ing) Day, with many businesses around Tacoma participating, from Tinkertopia to 2nd Cycle and Doyle’s, and others in between.
- The third of the Hilltop Heat concert series will take place this Thursday, September 19 from 6 to 9 p.m. The free community concert at People's Park is sponsored by Allen Renaissance
- The second Tacoma Moon Festival takes place this Saturday, September 21.
Councilmember Ibsen shared a couple events.
- The Tacoma Area Coalition of Individuals with Disabilities hosts its 2013 Independence Luncheon this Friday, September 20, at the Hotel Murano from 11:30 to 1:00 p.m.
- The City's next Proposition 1 facts and information session is scheduled for next Monday, September 23 at Truman Middle School.
Councilmember Lonergan shared that Northwest Trek is offering half-price admission for all seniors 65 and over for the month of September.
Mayor Strickland reminded us that Downtown to Defiance kicks off this Sunday, September 22 at 8 a.m. at the Tacoma Dome; it will be a great opportunity to check out Tacoma's waterfront.
For more on any of the items on this week's agenda, check out our City Business Preview for the week.
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