Nov. 17, 2009 at 5:00pm

City Council Meeting Liveblog

Live from Tacoma, it's Tuesday night!

... it's coming, wait for it... waaaaait for it... 

and the liveblog is a go! Keep that refresh button handy!

5:07 PM

Meeting called to order.

5:09 PM

ROAR Recognitions: Recognizing city staff, officers, and other contributors for making our communities stronger.

5:14 PM

Public comment begins.

Jeff A. voices his support for resolution 37916 (the complete streets guidelines).

Peter Stackwold (Pierce Transit) voices his support of resolution 37916.

John Truman expresses his thanks for the council's support of neiborhood business districts. Expresses interest in restoring Old Town dock. Asks for the councils help in doing so.

Cathy Mantke (sp?) voices her support for ordinance 27852 to include the restoration of Old Town dock.

Leslie Carol (Pierce County Health Department) voices support for resolution 37916.

Alan Douglas also supports resolutions 37916 and 37919.

Stan "Mr. Tacoma" Naccarato encourages the council to ensure Cheney stadium is renovated.

Joe Ladenburg emphasizes the importance of the Cheney stadium improvement/renovation plans.

5:33 PM

Public hearing regarding the almost $5M in proposed tax-exempt muni bonds for the Cheney Stadium renovations.

Baarsma emphasizes this is only one part of the financing package for this project. The overall budget calls for financing of approximately $47M for all the projects involved. Cheney Stadium will require approx. $30M, $28M of which will be funded through the sale of bonds.

Alan Douglas expresses his support for these renovations.

5:42 PM

Resolution 37916 adopted. Endorses the creation and ongoing development of the Complete Streets Design Guidelines.

Councilmember Ladenburg expresses her approval. She emphasizes the importance of vocal citizens to how effective these guidelines will be. Because these aren't mandates, most projects will still be derived from public feedback.

Councilmember Strickland asks how retrofitting/modifying existing streets will be affected. It is emphasized that these guidelines also address these types of projects.

Councilmember Talbert points out the health benefits to these guidelines and the health department's early support of walkable street designs.

Councilmember Fey emphasizes the mixed-use center aspects to these guidelines.

5:56 PM

Resolution 37917 adopted. Authorizes the City to increase the 2010 Ad Valorem property tax levy to 1%.

Councilmember Fey receives clarification that the mentioning of wind turbines in the resolution specifies their exclusion from this tax levy increase.

Councilmember Lonergan acknowledges the unusual need for raising taxes, despite the current economic climate. It is also pointed out that although there will be a 1% increase, the decline in property values mean a net reduction in property taxes for most citizens.

6:04 PM

Resolution 37918 adopted. The other part of the tax increase, except related in this case to the Emergency Medical Services levy.

6:05 PM

Resolution 37919 adopted. Authorizes the execution of a 30-year lease with SDL Baseball Partnership, LLC for the lease of Cheney Stadium from 1/1/2011 through 12/31/2041. The annual lease is approximately $500,000/year. The city would retain 100% of the ticket revenue and 50% of the parking revenue.

[missed his name, help?] (President) voices his support, and points out that Tacoma was/is the most important component during the design process.

Councilmember Ladenburg expresses her gratitude for the value Cheney Stadium has brought to Tacoma.

Councilmember Talbert acknowledges how important it is that this commitment is for 30 years. Suggests it speaks volumes for how the organization sees and is committed to Tacoma.

Councilmember Strickland thanks Ladenburg and Manthou for their leadership in this process.

Councilmember Lonergan observes the ambition of a 16-month schedule.

Mayor Baarsma points out the quality of our favorite local baseball team. Mentions how much more affordable it is for people who might not otherwise go to a professional baseball game. He also points out how important local teams are to establishing a sense of community.

All of Cheney Stadium's staff stands for applause.

6:25 PM

Final reading of ordinance 27847. Adopted. Amends the Municipal Code to align the retainage requirements on public improvements with state law.

6:26 PM

Final reading of ordinances 27848, 27849, 27850, and 27851. Vote postponed until next week.

6:28 PM

Final reading of ordinance 27852. Provides for the issuance of no more than $51M in GO bonds to rehab Cheney Stadium, acquire land, and construct/improve other capital projects.

Councilmember Lonergan suggests more scrutiny for the other projects included in the resolution before a vote is taken. Does not feel enough attention/clarification has been brought to them.

Mayor Baarsma points out many of the items have been discussed extensively. Emphasizes the urgency of some of these items needing funding, and suggests these other projects have been well vetted over decades of discussion.

Councilmember Walker addresses the project related to People's Pool. Emphasizes the community's desire for the pool to be restored/reopened.

Councilmember Fey validates Lonergan's concerns, but acknowledges the importance of these specific projects.

Councilmember Ladenburg ... missed her comments, will update once I get them ....

Councilmember Talbert reviews some of the proposed projects, and also agrees they are worth the proposed funding.

6:45 PM

Unfinished business begins.

Mayor Baarsma gives Julie Anderson a sendoff. Points out this is her last council meeting. Presents her with a plaque on behalf of the city council, recognizing her contributions.

Mayor Baarsma discusses the need to fill the two vacant council seats. Makes a motion to have the city manager begin accepting position 7 and position 8 applications with a deadline of 5PM on December 9. This does not preclude the new council from accepting more applications following January 1st.

6:52 PM

Committe Report: Environment and Public Works Committee

Councilmember Fey reviews what was discussed during the two most recent meetings. Included the complete streets guidelines, among other things.

6:55 PM

Councilmember Talbert addresses the issue of access to the H1N1 vaccine. Directs people to tpchd.org.

6:57 PM

Councilmember Strickland asks rhetorically whether or not the new vacancies will involve the appointments committe.

6:59 PM

Meeting adjourned!

comments [18]  |  posted under city council, liveblog, meeting notes, tacoma


by Erik on 11/17/2009 @ 4:43pm
Give us the latest Nick and let us know especially if you hear anything about the appointment process the city council will employ.

by Nick on 11/17/2009 @ 4:57pm
Yeah, I'm looking forward to any juicy details that might come up. Fingers crossed we get something!

by jenyum on 11/17/2009 @ 5:46pm
OK, I've fired upTV Tacoma (Click Network Channel 12) too. We'll see how long the kids let me actually watch.

by jenyum on 11/17/2009 @ 5:53pm
Connie Ladenburg spoke up about the need for neighborhood equity in the complete streets program. "The look of your neighborhood depends on your voice."

by ixia on 11/17/2009 @ 6:40pm
Ah yes, the voice of the people. A noble thing; adored by politicians. Until it speaks. Then it becomes a nuisance and must be ignored.

by Erik on 11/17/2009 @ 7:03pm
Nice details Nick. Incredible live blogging!

by fredo on 11/17/2009 @ 8:47pm
Lonergan questioned the wisdom of going forward with the funding of various projects when apparently there has been no formal decision to prioritize the city's needs.

The reasons why the Cheney Stadium improvements must be funded right now are because Mayor Baarsma remembers reading something about a "multiplier effect" that occurs when baseball stadiums are improved and also because councilman Talbert remembers fondly attending games when he was a boy.

The reason for rushing several million dollars into the Peoples pool rehab was because councilwoman Walker's children once commented that they would miss the pool.

The dock on Ruston way needs funds because it's one of the first things a visitor might see and it doesn't give a good impression.

This is what passes for government in the city of Tacoma.

by Erik on 11/17/2009 @ 9:07pm
Mayor Baarsma gives Julie Anderson a sendoff. Points out this is her last council meeting. Presents her with a plaque on behalf of the city council, recognizing her contributions

Thanks Julie for your work on City Council. Except for one small exception, a stellar record on Tacoma City Council!

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 11/17/2009 @ 9:47pm
I'll miss the old town dock, i've drunk a lot of beer there and i might have caught a few fish as well, though I really can't remember the fish. I think it deserves a couple million, for sure. And maybe some public beer coolers.

by Erik on 11/18/2009 @ 7:41am

Did you catch this:

Update from the Tribune:

Council unsure how to fill seats

Tacoma: It will move forward and begin accepting applications today, but process is clear as mud

The Tacoma City Council will begin accepting applications today for a pair of soon-to-be vacated council seats.

Interested individuals have until 5 p.m. Dec. 4 to submit applications to the city, the council decided at Tuesday nights meeting. (A city spokesman said details should go up online today at www.cityoftacoma.org.)

Beyond that, an at-times-confusing discussion among council members over how to handle the imminent appointments drew little agreement Tuesday.


Any additional insight?

by thriceallamerican on 11/18/2009 @ 7:42am
"Mr. Tacoma" could only be Stan Naccarato.

by Nick on 11/18/2009 @ 1:02pm
Thank you Jamie, I was given the impression I should know who he was, but sadly I did not.

by Nick on 11/18/2009 @ 1:08pm
Thanks for pointing that out Erik. Baarsma lost me amid the explanation of that part, but he initially said he wanted to make one of two possible motions (not clear on how they were different), and ultimately decided on the second one.

It sounds like I wasn't the only one that couldn't follow, so hopefully more explanation will become available.

by Erik on 11/18/2009 @ 2:52pm
...and ultimately decided on the second one.

Which motion was that?

by Jesse on 11/18/2009 @ 3:22pm
At one point I lived in Tacoma on Tacoma Avenue and drove a Toyota Tacoma. Can I be a Mr. Tacoma too?

by Nick on 11/18/2009 @ 4:28pm
That was the motion I attempted to transcribe in the liveblog (basically directing the city manager to start accepting applications). What confused me is both motions he suggested involved that, so the key differences are what I wasn't able to catch.

by Erik on 11/18/2009 @ 4:41pm
basically directing the city manager to start accepting applications

Hmm. Ok. That is good I guess.

I wonder if the filled out applications submitted to the city will be available for viewing by the public. They should be.

by fredo on 11/22/2009 @ 8:42am
Next week the city will be selling bonds (general obligation I believe) in the amount of $50M. About $28M of this is earmarked for Cheney Stadium capital improvements. The other $22M is to pay for a variety of projects, but I never saw an actual list. Is there anyone who knows the specifics on this? And what is the term of the bonds?


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