Dec. 15, 2009 at 5:00pm

City Council Meeting Liveblog

Live from Tacoma, it's Tuesday night!

Stay tuned for tonight's liveblog....

... and let the liveblogging commence!

5:09 PM

Meeting called to order.

5:12 PM

Proclamation for December 31, 2009 naming the day as First Night Tacoma in recognition of the downtown event of the same name.

5:18 PM

Public comment begins.

5:19 PM

Mike Price addresses resolution 27958. Suggests the ethics board does not adequately address objections raised by citizens, pointing to his own objection which was thrown out.

5:24 PM

Tom Absher w/ Pacific Plaza addresses resolution 37959 (whcih would allow that 1400 sq. ft of retail space for use as office space for the state AG). Asks that the council approve the resolution, citing the current condition of the commercial real estate market.

5:29 PM

[missed his name] also discusses resolution 37959. Also asks the council to approve this proposed leasing agreement.

5:34 PM

Whitney Rhodes also discusses resolution 37959. Voices her approval of the Pacific Plaza project, as an urban planner. She points out the justification for public funding of the project was because of the retail component of the project.

5:39 PM

Phillis [missed last name] her support for for resolution 37953 (provides additional funding for the Tacoma-Pierce County Humane Society).

5:40 PM

Phillis Harrison, as a downtown merchant (LeRoy), discusses resolution 37959. She also does not support the resolution. She describes the concept of "destination" retailers. Retailers that thrive not only on downtown office workers but on people coming from outside, she suggests, should be the type of tenant we should find for Pacific Plaza.

5:45 PM

Kevin Phelps congratulates the outgoing councilmembers. Also discusses resolution 37959. Urges the council, whatever they decide, to not send the message that was sent in 1997 (that Tacoma is not a good place to do business).

5:50 PM

[first name?] Johnson voices his support of ordinances 27867 and 27868.

5:55 PM

[missed his name] discusses resolution 37959. Points out that storefront retail attracts more retail, and lack of storefront retail discourages it. Also points out the soon-to-be-vacant Russell building.

6:01 PM

[missed her name] discusses resolution 37955. Suggests something be worked in to support the recent fallen officers' families.

6:02 PM

Seth Farber finds himself agreeing with Phelps that the Pacific Plaza is an incredible accomplishment. Points out that 10 years ago "Destination Downtown" set pedestrian uses as a priority for downtown. Points to the Woolworth's building which made a similar proposal, being unable to fill its retail space at the time. Suggests this as an example of a city council making decisions in a crisis environment may solve a short-term problem, but may be detrimental long-term.

6:07 PM

Marty Campbell discusses resolution 37959. Relays the message that the cros-district business association echoes the downtown merchants group's view that street-level space needs to be retail.

6:10 PM

George Webb also discusses resolution 37959. Points out the last thing Tacoma needs is additional office space, given that the recession has created a flood of vacancies.

6:12 PM

[missed his name] points out that the AG would be increasing it's lease rate by more than double during a time when the state is making deep budget cuts. Suggests the city can't tell a state agency how to spend its money, but it can choose not to participate in something that can be considered financially irresponsible.

6:13 PM

[missed his name] discusses resolution 37954. Also shares some sentimental words about the council's past year of service.

6:19 PM

[missed his name, still catching up!] voices his concern over ordinance 27867 and 27868.

6:21 PM

Public comment ends.

[... will fill in missed notes later ...]

7:00 PM

Resolution 37958 adopted. Approving the Administrative Procedures of the Board of Ethics.

7:03 PM

Resolution 37959. Authorizing the execution of the third amendment to the Development, Sale Back, and Lease Agreement for South Park Plaza Public Parking Garage with Pacific Plaza Development, LLC, to provide for the use of approximately 14,000 square feet for nonretail purposes, for a lease with the Washington State Office of the Attorney General.

There is some discussion an amendment which is adopted, adjusting the definition of what the base lease rate consists of. It also increases the city's portion from 5% to 10%.

comments [5]  |  posted under city council, liveblog, tacoma


by Erik on 12/15/2009 @ 6:09pm
Should be an interesting night. Look for info on the appointment process.

by Nick on 12/16/2009 @ 1:18pm
Ugh, my battery died TWICE. Sorry about the spotty coverage last night!

What I did catch about Pacific Plaza and the AG was very disappointing. Zero net gain for the city in terms of downtown employment, and now we have less available retail space and more office space is going to be dumped onto the downtown market (the last thing we need), further eroding lease rates and dampening the development potential for any new construction or growth for a while. Very sad, short-sighted, and disappointing.

On the plus side, anyone leasing office space downtown is going to get a nice financial break over the coming years...

by Nick on 12/16/2009 @ 1:21pm
Also interesting to consider the city's decision could be viewed as supporting a financially irresponsible decision on the part of the state AG. More than doubling their lease rate at a time when entire programs are being cut from the state budget? Wha?

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 12/16/2009 @ 1:44pm
I hope the legislature puts a stop to this travesty, this is not the time for the AG's office to be looking for more expensive and fancy digs. Has anyone seen the cuts in our Governor's proposed budget. People will be suffering but our AGs will be having their cushy offices. Got to love these people.

by Non Sequitur on 12/16/2009 @ 8:22pm
The legislature may consider allowing more agencies to set up shop in Pac Plaza. After all, no politician, living or dead, can understand the concepts of "budgeting" and "accountability" and "restraint" and "reasonability".

The correct political action would be to award the AG with more $. It's this kind of behavior why WA is on the freight train to insolvency, only one stop behind OR and two behind CA.


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