Tacoma Urbanist

Jan. 14, 2013 at 12:23am

Appointing a Small Business Owner to Council Critical For the Future Success of Tacoma

On Tuesday, the Tacoma City Council is poised to appoint a new person to the Tacoma City Council to replace Jake Fey who was recently elected to the Washington State Legislature.

Of the nine members on council, including the mayor, there is only one known business owner on the council.  The rest serve on various non-profit boards or have other government positions.

Yet, Tacoma's greatest need presently is the support and growth of small businesses downtown and in Tacoma's neighorhood centers.

Here is a letter to the editor published in the Tacoma Weekly a few days ago:


Special thanks to former City Councilmember Jake Fey, who served Tacoma well for many years and now is representing Tacomans in the state Legislature.

Tacoma’s greatest current need is to rebuild the city, support restoration of the vast inventory of vacant buildings and support the construction of well-designed buildings on the vast sea of blighted and vacant parking lots downtown and in many of the mixed-use centers. Far too many of the buildings downtown and in the neighborhood business centers are vacant and in danger of being razed like the Luzon.

Because of failing tax revenues, the council has had to severely cut city services even while raising taxes. The tax base in Tacoma desperately needs to be broadened by expanding the number of businesses, preferably small ones to simultaneously create more vibrant, walkable and enjoyable neighborhood centers. The applicant the council appoints to replace Fey should have a strong background in business and in the building and restoring of buildings and be ready to hit the ground running to contribute to the city.


After examining the candidate putting their name forward, Patricia Lecy-Davis is by far the most qualified to fulfil Tacoma's greatest need at this time in Tacoma's history.  She has not only personally transformed a blighted building into many businesses, she has also supported and built many of the efforts employed in Tacoma which have helped bring more life into the city. She is exactly the person now needed on the council. With her help, the city could greatly expand the Go Local efforts.


You can contact your councilmembers here:





Walmart is going to be opening soon.  Tacomans need to charge up the Go Local effort sooner rather than later.

comments [45]  |  posted under Tacoma


by Erik on 1/14/2013 @ 12:48am

Tacomic endorsed:

I think Trish would bring more color to the drabness of TV Tacoma

The Tacomic officially endorses Patricia Lecy-Davis


by Erik on 1/14/2013 @ 12:52am
Go Local Tacoma:


by Erik on 1/14/2013 @ 12:53am
More info on the process:


by Erik on 1/14/2013 @ 12:56am
Interviews for Tacoma City Council’s District 2 position to be televised live on TV Tacoma Jan. 15

At the noon study session on Jan. 15 – which will be televised live by TV Tacoma from Council Chambers – the public will have an opportunity to watch Tacoma City Council Members conduct live interviews of seven applicants vying for the vacant City Council District 2 position: Monica Alexander, Philip Cowan, David D’ Aniello, Carolyn Edmonds, Jon Higley, Patricia Lecy-Davis and Robert Thoms.

Each will have three minutes to describe their interest in serving on the City Council, their qualifications, what sets them apart from other applicants, and what they believe the City of Tacoma should prioritize. 

Council Members will then have an opportunity to ask them additional questions.At the end of that session, Council Members will go into an executive session to discuss applicant qualifications. And, at the 5 p.m. Council meeting that day, a motion may be made to appoint an applicant to the vacant position for Council consideration.


by KevinFreitas on 1/14/2013 @ 8:28am
QA with 2 of 7 District 2 applicants: f.33d.me/zH6 (hopefully more will email their answers today)

by low bar on 1/14/2013 @ 12:21pm
What is meant by 'small business'? An investor? 

Seattle is about to get a new NBA team from Sacramento BECAUSE Seattle has investors.

Tacoma? Where are your investors?

by cisserosmiley on 1/14/2013 @ 2:12pm
Tacoma has extremely high risk factors for institutional investors including: inconsistent gov., poor people, and a humongous PR problem with surrounding communities. Investing here is risky!

by low bar on 1/14/2013 @ 2:21pm
And yet there is soooooo much potential for investors who can buck the trend. Just look at any city that is just like Tacoma, yet lacks proximity to military bases AND being a college town, and then tell me there is NO REASON for lack of investment in Tacoma.

It's not that there needs be someone in the wheel house who understands small business. It has to be someone who understands what makes some business succeed and some fail, regardless of location, but even more importantly, due to location.

That person then must possess the ability to play to, and sell off, the cities strengths to investors.

Me personally, I am looking at opening a small business close to UWT in the future bc I can see in my daily attendance there a service that can be filled.

by Mofo from the Hood on 1/14/2013 @ 2:55pm
From what I've heard and read of Leacy-Davis in her own words, she seems to emphasize a need to synthesize values and concepts from people outside the mainstream business sector. In the posted video she advocates lawbreaking by artists, bartering for goods and services, and turning away from the reality of global business competition to develop a dreamworld protectionist Tacoma economy.

All things considered, she should be a welcome addition to the City Council. I have a feeling that the Council gal-pals have already booked a celebration gathering at Leacy-Davis' favorite drag queen hangout.

by fredo on 1/14/2013 @ 3:28pm

I thought that was a picture of Marshall Applewhite.

by low bar on 1/14/2013 @ 4:12pm
I think you've got a serious problem when your leadership is so easy to caricature. 

by Jesse on 1/14/2013 @ 4:24pm
Is there a drag queen show in Tacoma?  Where and when?

by Jesse on 1/14/2013 @ 4:48pm
Oh ya... on topic.

I think Tacoma needs a bigger business person with experience building and putting together big projects.  Not only would they know business, know it in the Puget Sound region, they'd know how to attract all kinds of new businesses and know what they need to locate here.  They could size up the competition better and help build policy to attract businesses here.

How about a CEO/COO type to offset all the non-profit types already on the council.  There's no uber-successful business person on the council at all.  Doesn't anyone else think that's a problem?  

by tacoma_1 on 1/14/2013 @ 5:00pm
I don't think we need another small business owner on the council to vote for the interests of small business owners. 

Tacoma has had a history of that and it hasn't provided us anything substantial other than making it easy for Weyerhauser, Russell, Davita, all to leave town as soon as they get big. Just to name a few. 

by fredo on 1/14/2013 @ 5:09pm
 "Tacoma has had a history of that (small business owners on the city council)" tacoma1

Dave Boe owns a business and Marty used to own a business. Bill Evans who used to be on the council was a small business owner.Care to name any others?

by tacoma_1 on 1/14/2013 @ 5:24pm
Who's the guy that owns the old Temple Theater?  Landmark now?  He's Anudder one. 

by KevinFreitas on 1/14/2013 @ 6:13pm
We already have a small biz owner on the council but do we have someone that lives in NE Tacoma? I'm still enthusiastic about the possibility of someone like Monica Hunter-Alexander being a bridge between citizens and our local first responders and military. If people don't feel safe everything else is made more difficult.

Looking forward to the study session tomorrow!

by fredo on 1/14/2013 @ 6:16pm
yea, I remember him. OK that's four businessmen in the last 10 or 15 years on city council.

I would say that shows that the city council has slight representation by people with business backgrounds.

Now maybe you can show us how having a few business people on the council has resulted in "making it easy for Weyerhauser, Russell, Davita, all to leave town as soon as they got big." This doesn't make sense to me.   

by NineInchNachos on 1/14/2013 @ 6:27pm
we should run business more like a government.

by cisserosmiley on 1/14/2013 @ 6:54pm
Just go on zillow & pick the person who owns the biggest zestimate. A small pool of million$$$ home dwellers will provide solid council fodder.

by tacoma_1 on 1/14/2013 @ 7:47pm
It doesn't surprise me that small biz owners like fredo and Eric want a third small biz owner on the city council to represent their interests. It's just not very representative of the constituency of Tacoma as a whole. IMHO

by fredo on 1/14/2013 @ 7:52pm

There is only one business owner on the council. That's David Boe. 

by tacoma_1 on 1/14/2013 @ 8:14pm
Ok, depends how and when u count. We have one current biz owner, and one that was a biz owner when he took office, but closed his biz while in office (Marty).

by fredo on 1/14/2013 @ 8:41pm

tacoma1 since you are interested in a candidate who is representative of tacoma's "constitutency" maybe you would prefer somebody who doesn't have a college degree since most adults in Tacoma don't have a college degree.  

by Mofo from the Hood on 1/14/2013 @ 8:44pm
According to the Jan. 8, 2013 Tacoma Daily Index blog: "Effective Jan. 1, 2013, council members receive an annual salary of $41,269."

That's an incentive that should attract most any citizen eligible for the District 2 council seat. But the ongoing challenge to fill any council seat involves matching a person's ability with the position's responsibility. There must be hundreds of people in District 2 who have the ability to serve. But how many have the motivation to serve responsibly?

It's a rare councilman who votes his conscience against an unsound policy. That problem will never arise if you fill council seats with people who have a conscience that has been misinformed, or corrupted by carnal appetites.  

by tacoma_1 on 1/14/2013 @ 9:32pm
I'd be happy with a smart person who has social values that are consistent with their constituency.  Owning a business does not mean that that person doesn't share the values of the constituency, but it certainly doesn't mean they do either.

Most people go into business for the purpose of making money.  That mindset isn't particularly useful in governing. 

by low bar on 1/14/2013 @ 9:46pm
"Most people go into business for the purpose of making money." -- tacoma1

I think that depends on the virtue of the business. If it is your aim to make money as well as seeing your partners and employees do well financially, you could say the business will have strengths beyond earning potential. There will be family ties and overall better performance through fairness.

If I look at a council, I want to see a family or a team that can do well together, and attract interest. Not a bunch of people I never wanted to be friends with in high school.

by tacoma_1 on 1/14/2013 @ 10:00pm
You had friends in high school?

by cisserosmiley on 1/14/2013 @ 10:15pm
He was a quiet kid...

by low bar on 1/14/2013 @ 10:18pm
@tacoma1 If I wanted.

@ciss Do I seem like I'd be quiet?

Lackluster city council = investor repellent. Chew on that for a while.

by Mofo from the Hood on 1/14/2013 @ 10:29pm
The Tacoma Sub-Culture Club, I mean Tacoma City Council, was developed to keep certain viewpoints out. Like all clubs, they're seeking members who share their ambitions. As a consequence, some of the most sober Tacoman's have fled the city, essentially voting "no confidence" with their feet.

by downtownlovemachine on 1/15/2013 @ 12:25am

 1) We dont need someone with business experience. Someone with a real and successful business background does not want to be on the City Council. Sorry to those business owners on Council but if you were successful, you would be in Scottsdale right now playing golf and enjoying your success. 2) The last thing we need is another talking head on council. We need someone that has delivered real results derived from their efforts either independently or in parner with both public and private entities. Real results that can be measured by an increase in jobs and lights on in our business districts. Pickles, backrubs and haircuts help but are not going to put enough fuel in the tank.3) Go Local and Shift Happens has had an exciting run but not without taxpayers dollars to help it gain exposure. It has not been the small business entities that make up Go Local (its free to join)  getting the message out and parties paid for. The City has spent to date up to $100,000 of taxpayers dollars contributing to both Go Local and Shift Happens. As you can see in the link below, Mrs Lecy-Davis signature is on the contract between Go Local and the City of Tacoma for $50,000. It looks like there was a lot groups that were contacted and a lot of handouts delivered around town. But (see number 1) we need to deliver a message outside of Tacoma, we are singing to the choir. tacomashifthappens.com/shift-sponsorship...www.mrsc.org/contracts/t3golocal.pdf 

by cisserosmiley on 1/15/2013 @ 7:12am
@downtownlovemachine, I think you made a mistake & posted two identical responses on two different threads. 

by tacoma_1 on 1/15/2013 @ 7:56am
dtlm makes some sense though. 

by NineInchNachos on 1/15/2013 @ 8:33am
"Scottsdale right now playing golf and enjoying your success."

if that is what success looks like, kill me now.

by KevinFreitas on 1/15/2013 @ 9:02am
Will be live tweeting the city council study session re: District 2 appointment interviews. Use the Twitter hashtag #TacomaD2 to join in!

by NineInchNachos on 1/15/2013 @ 9:08am
Taco Mad 2 ! 

by downtownlovemachine on 1/15/2013 @ 12:23pm

According to Davis, Go Local got another $40,000.00 for 2013/14 so that is a total of $90,000 in taxpayers dollars going to Go Local. That is a lot of money going to out to a nonprofit with no real outcome during tight budget times. What did percisely Tacoma residents get for that money? Does Go Local staff get any income from these pricy contracts with the City.

by downtownlovemachine on 1/15/2013 @ 3:04pm

Edmonds and Toms - ADavis - BWSP woman - C+The rest fail.

by JesseHillFan on 1/15/2013 @ 3:17pm
How about someone results orientated like Joseph Stalin purges,gulags and all.Getting rid of fluff

by NineInchNachos on 1/15/2013 @ 3:38pm
I got an awesome 'shift happens' sticker for my pencil box  and bunch of cool 'go local' pens I swiped from empty state of the city seats 

by NineInchNachos on 1/15/2013 @ 3:39pm
See you at the next 'shift happens' event Jan 28th ! 

by NineInchNachos on 1/15/2013 @ 3:40pm
it's Thoms   not Toms 

by gritz thekat on 1/15/2013 @ 3:40pm
Meow Tacomanians...

by KevinFreitas on 1/15/2013 @ 5:45pm
Welcome back @gritz! :)