Jan. 12, 2010 at 5:07pm

City Council Meeting Liveblog

Live from Tacoma, it's Tuesday night!

Came in a bit late, and will have to leave early, but I'll catch what I can while I'm here...

5:12 PM

Public comment begins.

5:12 PM

Ed Taylor comments on the esplanade project #11 (resolution 37972). Encourages the council to approve.


(missed his name), a carpentry contractor, voices his support for the council's approval of resolution 37972.

5:15 PM

Kathy Swan also voices her support for resolution 37972.

5:16 PM

Stephen Ignac (sp?) trains local carpenters for the south sound. Also supports approval of resolution 37972.

5:19 PM

Ted Johnson, having invested in property on the Foss, also voices his support for resolution 37972. Points out the importance of a timely approval.

5:21 PM

(missed her name) outlines the costs associated with delays. Points out it preps the site for additional future development.

5:23 PM

(missed his name) urges the adoption of resolution 37972.

5:25 PM

(first name) McDonald addresses resolution 37977 (the upcoming school levy). Points out a problem with the practice of re-hiring retired staff (namely the added cost). Suggests it is the wrong time for this type of levy.

5:27 PM

Resolution 37973: Appointing Council Member Victoria Woodards to serve on the Environment and Public Works Committee.

Strickland amends the above with an additional appointment. Amendment is accepted.

Resolution adopted.

5:29 PM

Resolution 37969: Awarding contracts to:

Ebenal General, Inc., on its bid of $771,609.53, including sales tax, budgeted from the Public Works Streets Special Revenue Fund, for the Foss Harbor Esplanade Site 11 project, including a 304-foot esplanade with lighting, railing, and park benches, and the installation of 32 new piles to support the new esplanade Specification No. PW09-0836F (Continued from the meeting of January 5, 2010);

And Wm. Dickson Co., on its bid of $754,209.54, including sales tax, budgeted from the Public Works Surface Water Fund, for the South 23rd Street Surface Water Treatment Retrofit Project Specification No. PW09-0565F.

5:31 PM

Fey asks why this resolution appears to be a rushed decision. Seems to be related to logistics.

Resolution adopted.

5:35 PM

Resolution 37970: Approving the General Government Fee Schedule for special and miscellaneous services, to include charges to the public for various departmental services.

Resolution adpoted.

5:36 PM

Resolution 37971: Expressing support for the passage of the Tacoma School District's Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy and School Facility Improvements and Technology Upgrades Levy propositions at the special election to be held on Tuesday, February 9, 2010.

Resolution adopted (both Proposition No.1 and Proposition No. 2).

5:47 PM

Resolution 37972: Authorizing the execution of Supplement No. 8 to the agreement with David Evans and Associates, Inc., in the amount of $50,000, for a cumulative contract total of $342,404, budgeted from the Public Works Special Revenue Fund, to provide on-call engineering services for the East 34th Street Bridge project through December 31, 2011.

Resolution adopted.

5:50 PM

Final reading of ordinances.

Ordinance 27869: Amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code to implement rates of pay and compensation for employees represented by the District Lodge 160, on behalf of Local Lodge 297 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, General Unit, covering 102 budgeted, full-time equivalent positions.

Ordinance passed.

5:51 PM

First reading of ordinances.

Ordinance 27870: Creating a new fund in the Treasury of the City of Tacoma to be known and designated as the Permit Services Fund; and making the establishment of the Permit Services Fund retroactive to January 1, 2009.

No unfinished business.

No city manager reports.

Committe reports begin.

5:54 PM

Economic Development Commitee: Heard a presentation on the BIA boundary analysis. Concluded that expansion of the BIA boundaries are not currently feasable.

Councilmember Fey points out his concern about the current police staffing numbers.

Councilmember Walker inquires into the cost/timeline needed for accessibility improvements to the website. Also points out three events on MLK Jr. day: Tacoma Dome @ 11:00 AM, UWT @ 8:30 AM, Urban Grace @ 2:30 PM. Finally expresses her sentiments towards city employees that have recently passed away.

Councilmember Woodards also notes a MLK Jr. day event at the WSHSM.

5:59 PM

Meeting adjourned! That was short!

comments [9]  |  posted under city council, liveblog, tacoma


by KevinFreitas on 1/12/2010 @ 5:51pm
Thanks Nick! But I'm still curious which stretch of the waterfront will get this upgrade. What's it like seeing Strickland leading the show rather than Baarsma?

by KevinFreitas on 1/12/2010 @ 5:56pm
They say why they don't think the expansion of the BIA boundaries was feasible? Where were they thinking of expanding it anyway?

by Erik on 1/12/2010 @ 6:36pm
Resolution 37969: Awarding contracts to:

Ebenal General, Inc., on its bid of $771,609.53, including sales tax, budgeted from the Public Works Streets Special Revenue Fund, for the Foss Harbor Esplanade Site 11 project, including a 304-foot esplanade with lighting, railing, and park benches, and the installation of 32 new piles to support the new esplanade Specification No. PW09-0836F (Continued from the meeting of January 5, 2010);

Thank God!

It looks like some councilmembers read Feed Tacoma blogs:


by fredo on 1/12/2010 @ 10:15pm
Once again the council has taken upon itself the duty of telling the electorate how to vote Resolution 37971 recommends that the citizens pass School District Prop 1 & 2.

Giving voting advice is not the business of the council. This is the third occasion in as many months where the council has mistakenly weighed in on a matter that is of no concern to them.

This is clearly an abuse of authority.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 1/12/2010 @ 10:44pm
I'm not sure, fredo. The school district props should help stimulate the economy some. Certainly having better educational facilities helps boost the city. I think the council is looking after the city's best interests. I don't think they are acting improperly, they are just want Tacoma to be all it can be. Education is a good start. Even our Governor, in her State of the State speech tonight stressed the importance of education for our economy. No abuse here.

by fredo on 1/12/2010 @ 11:17pm
"the props should help stimulate the economy some" Crenshaw

Maybe. Each homeowner will be taking on a new debt obligation if prop 2 passes. And they will be required to extend a previous obligation if prop 1 passes. The total amount of the two obligations will be approximately $4000 for the owner of a home worth $200K.

This is $4000 they will not be able to spend on dentists, piano lessons, charitable organizations, private tutoring, summer camps, broadband services, and thousands of other uses which parents may wish to purchase for the benefit of their children. Wouldn't this have a negative effect on the economy? Is putting an additional debt load on many low income and unemployed families and people on the verge of foreclosure an example of the council "looking after the city's best interests?"

by fredo on 1/13/2010 @ 12:22am
During this afternoon's study session council woman Lauren Walker made a point of grilling every council finalist about their ability to deal with "diverse" people. Apparently it was important to her that the two candidates who are finally selected would be responsive to the needs of the poor people of color.

Later the same day...

Alton McDonald appeared before the council asking that the council reject resolution 37971. He sited correctly the dismal state of the economy and the problems levy passage would cause low income people.

Nevertheless, the resolution was adopted unanimously without ever responding to Mr. McDonald's comment. Incidentally, Mr. McDonald is a black gentleman. Apparently being responsive to people of "diversity" is not really a job requirement.

by Nick on 1/13/2010 @ 8:54am
Yeah, I don't know about all these "gestures" in support of various ballot measures/propositions/whathaveyous. When I try and look at it from a politically-neutral perspective it just doesn't sit right with me. Sure, so far I've found myself agreeing with every position they have supported (that I'm aware of). But just 'cause I'm rooting for the winning team doesn't mean I don't want a level playing field.

Maybe I haven't thought it through, but something about it...

by TheCheeseHasSpoken on 1/13/2010 @ 9:36am
I am inclined to agree with Fredo regarding the city council's voting measures on "support" of a particular bill.
The city council measures are meant to serve as a campaign piece - to sway the votes of individuals. While the argument can certainly be made that these propositions do affect the city business, many times the voting measures reflect personal opinion. Too much effort is exerted in this type of political maneuvering that could be spent on actual city business.


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