Nov. 24, 2009 at 5:11pm

Tacoma City Council Liveblog

Live from Tacoma, it's Tuesday night!

The liveblog begins a bit late today!

5:05 PM

Meeting called to order.

5:07 PM

Motion adopted to promote councilmember Strickland to deputy mayor.

5:08 PM

Tacoma is one of 5 recipients to receive a $750,000.00 federal grant. Will be providing funds for Thea Foss Waterway improvements.

5:10 PM

Baarsma calls Julie Anderson forward. She is presented with a City of Tacoma seal in recognition. At this point we hear each councilmember speaks his/her goodbyes (and going-away gifts, I'm jealous!).

5:33 PM

Public hearing for the amended Six-Year Comprehensive Transportation Program for amended year 2009 and 2010-2015 begins.

Documentation will be made available here: http://www.cityoftacoma.org/page.aspx?hid=1235

Hearing begins with Tim Harvey making a presentation on the program. Outlines projects removed from the plan (most were completed, the rest consolidated with other programs/plans). He notes that about $200M of the $400M budget is currently funded.

Stan Smith thanks the council for addressing the adjustments to the plan to accommodate ADA-related isues (namely curb ramps).

5:42 PM

Public comment on agenda items begins.

Resolution 37926: the naming of the park area located north of city hall as "Ben Gilbert Park," the pedestrian area of 1300 block of Broadway Plaza as "Harry P. Cain Promenade," and renaming Celebration Park, located at 429 South 80th St. as "Ryan's Park."

Mark Smith voices his support. Describes some background on Harry P. Cain, who had quite an impressive resume, too much to list here!

Two more citizens I missed, will update afterwards.

Phillip Hill endorses the naming of "Ben Gilbert Park."

Lenny Johnson also voices his support. Brings attention to Ben Gilbert's background.

Resolution 37927: Adds Urban Grace Church to the Tacoma Register of Historic Places.

Jennifer Dean thanks the council for considering adding Urban Grace Church to the Tacoma Register of Historic Places.

Sharon Winters, representing Historic Tacoma, also endorses the addition.

Resolution 37931: Related to the sale of the Bicintennial Pavilion.

[missed his name] voicing his support for the Bicentennial Pavilion going to the Hotel Murano.

Ordinance 27852: Issues GO bonds for funding the Cheney Stadium rehab.

Tom Cashman, director of the Foss Waterway Seaport, voices his support.

Glenn S. points out the loss of available parking at Cheney Stadium over time, and the consequential overflow of cars occupying neighboring parking lots. Suggests the problematic nature of premium pre-paid spaces remaining vacant on a regular basis.

Ordinance 27853: Provides additional requirements to alcohol-serving establishments to require reports to the Fire Marshal and Police Chief prior to license approval, and all security personnel to have approved training.

Josh McDonald, on behalf of the Washington Restaurant Association, voices his concern that the wording in this ordinance is too vague and could cause unintended consequences. Expresses his interest in working with the council to adjust the wording if possible.

6:23 PM

Regular agenda is resumed.

Resolution 37911 adopted. Authorizing the execution of an extension to the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Tacoma Joint Labor Committee through December 31, 2012.

Purchase Resolution 37921 adopted. Awarding a contract to: HDR Engineering, Inc., in the amount of $988,838, sales tax not applicable, for a cumulative total of $2,288,535, budgeted from the Solid Waste 2001 Bond Construction Fund, to increase the contract for additional architectural and engineering services associated with the Tacoma Landfill Solid Waste Transfer Facility – Specification No. PW06-1011F.

Resolution 37922 adopted. Authorizes the execution of a ten-year Institutional Network Services Agreement with Click! Network, in the approximate amount of $113,000 for the first year, budgeted from the IT Municipal Cable TV Fund, for the ongoing construction, maintenance, and operation of the City's institutional network.

Resolution 37923 adopted. Authorizing the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians for the proposed stormwater conveyance system improvements on Grandview Avenue.

Resolution 37924 adopted. Reestablishing the position of Risk Analyst, Fair Housing Investigator, to include benefits that would require enrollment in the City's Retirement System.

Resolution 37925 adopted. Designating the geographic boundaries of the city as a recovery zone for the purpose of issuing Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds and Recovery Zone Facility Bonds.

Resolution 37926 adopted. Naming the park area located north of the Tacoma Municipal Building North as "Ben Gilbert Park," the pedestrian area of the 1300 block of Broadway Plaza as "Harry P. Cain Promenade," and renaming Celebration Park, located at 429 South 80th Street, as "Ryan's Park."

Mayor Baarsma recognizes Mayor Cain's contributions to civil rights during the internment of Japanese-Americans (during a time when it was unpopular).

Resolution 37927 adopted. Designating the Urban Grace Church, located at 902 Market Street, as a historic landmark and adding said property to the Tacoma Register of Historic Places.

Mayor Baarsma recuses himself from voting, acknowledging his membership in the Church's congregation.

Resolution 37928 adopted. Authorizing the execution of an Assignment of Contract Rights and Agreement with Pierce County, in the amount of $20,000, plus costs, for the acquisition of an approximately eight-acre parcel located adjacent to South 52nd Street and Mullen Street for open space conservation purposes, and executing a Stewardship Agreement and Restrictive Covenant pertaining to such parcel; and acquiring an abutting undeveloped County tax title property, for the sum of $500, plus costs, both acquisitions to be budgeted from the Community and Economic Development Special Revenue Fund.

7:09 PM

Resolution 37929 adopted. Authorizing the execution of an amended and restated lease agreement with Pacific Seafood Washington Acquisition Co., Inc., for property located at 1199 Dock Street.

Resolution 37930 adopted. Authorizing the execution of an amendment to the Bicentennial Pavilion Management Agreement with KS Tacoma Hotel, LLC, to allow the term to be extended for a six-year period, ending on December 31, 2015.

Apparently there is about $1.9M of repairs currently needed for the building.

Battery is getting low, may need to do a recap on the rest. Will continue posting for as long as my battery allows...

Resolution 37931 adopted. Authorizing the execution of an Option Agreement with Aspen Pavilion, LLC, for the sale of Bicentennial Pavilion, located at 1341 Market Street, in the amount of $2,240,000.

7:23 PM

Final reading of ordinances.

Amended Ordinance 27845 adopted. Granting a ten-year agreement to the City of Tacoma, Department of Public Utilities, Light Division, d.b.a. Click! Network, to provide cable television services in the City of Tacoma.

Ordinance 27846 adopted. Granting a ten-year agreement to the City of Tacoma, Department of Public Utilities, Light Division, d.b.a. Click! Network, to provide cable television services in the City of Tacoma.

Ordinance 27848 adopted. Authorizing an increase in 2010 for Ad Valorem tax collection in terms of both dollars and a percentage increase of one percent.

Ordinance 27849 adopted. Authorizing an increase in 2010 for property tax revenue collection in terms of both dollars and a percentage increase of one percent for Emergency Medical Services.

Ordinance 27850 adopted. Fixing the 2010 Ad Valorem property tax levy.

Ordinance 27851 adopted. Fixing the 2010 property tax levy for Emergency Medical Services.

Ordinance 27852 adopted. Providing for the issuance and sale of up to seven series of limited tax general obligation bonds in the aggregate principal amount not to exceed $51,000,000, to rehabilitate Cheney Stadium, acquire land, and construct and improve other capital projects.

Councilmember Lonergan, Talbert, Strickland voice their support, cite the importance of some of the specific projects.

7:30 PM

First reading of ordinances.

Ordinance 27853: Amending Chapter 6B.70 of the Municipal Code, relating to entertainment and dancing establishments where alcohol is served, to require such establishments to provide reports to the Fire Marshal and Police Chief prior to license approval, and that all security personnel working at such establishments receive approved training; and to set standards for approval and denial of such licenses.

Councilmembers Talbert, Strickland, and Manthou acknowledge the need to possibly examine the wording further.

Ordinance 27854: Amending Title 17 of the Municipal Code, entitled “AnimalControl,” to clarify liability for animal violations, responsibilities of owners of potentially dangerous dogs, and to impose requirements that animals be humanely restrained.

comments [22]  |  posted under city council, liveblog, tacoma


by KevinFreitas on 11/24/2009 @ 5:29pm
Congrats to Deputy Mayor Strickland!

Thanks also to Julie for her time on the council!

by Nick on 11/24/2009 @ 5:52pm
Oooh, interesting tidbits as I look over the list of projects for the six-year Comprehensive Transportation Program:

- Stadium Way Streetcar (!): $37.7M
- Murray Morgan Bridge Rehab: $45.5M
- 6th Ave. Parking: $220,000
- Thea Foss - Public Parking - 15th & Hood Street: $1.07M
- East Thea Foss Waterway Transportation Corridor: $3M (funded by prop. owners)

by fredo on 11/24/2009 @ 7:38pm
Julie bails on her responsibilities to the city voters and receives at 25 minute honorarium. Textbook Tacoma.

by Jesse on 11/24/2009 @ 7:53pm
...much like Sarah Palin. Eh Fredo?

by fredo on 11/24/2009 @ 7:58pm
two wrongs don't make a right

by fredo on 11/24/2009 @ 9:56pm
"We're not going to manditorily enforce neutering on anybody once Julie's gone" Councilman Talbert.

I'm not a great fan of Julie's but I think forcing her to be neutered is a bit harsh.

by david on 11/24/2009 @ 11:53pm
So if the voters vote for someone to leave a position to take a new one then it's called abandoning the voters? OK, I'll try to remember.

by NSHDscott on 11/25/2009 @ 1:54am
First look at the Capital Facilities 2009-2014 plan for me. These caught my eye in the summary document:

Parking System: North Plaza, Development: $7M each in 2009 and 2010. Did I miss something?

Stadium Way - S 9th St to Tacoma Ave: $10.2M in 2010. What is this? Preparation for streetcar work?

by fredo on 11/25/2009 @ 6:36am

In November 2007 Julie Anderson ran for a four year position on the Tacoma City Council. In 2009 she abandoned her position to take a different elective office. The city voters did not vote for her to "leave" the office as you suggest. It's OK if you don't remember, that's what I'm here for.

by fredo on 11/25/2009 @ 6:41am
Resolution 37931

Say goodbye to the city's Bicentennial Pavilion in a deal that was brokered in a backroom somewhere. We'll never know how much the property would have brought had it been sold on the open market. So much for transparency in government. I guess that's just a campaign slogan.

by KevinFreitas on 11/25/2009 @ 6:47am
It seems that since the also elected remaining City Council members will be the ones to appoint interim a council member to take her place that it's not so bad as if it were just a random drawing from a hat. And, in a free country, I believe most folks are free to leave their jobs at-will -- elected or not. Let their next employer/electorate decide what that means.

by Non Sequitur on 11/25/2009 @ 6:52am
"Parking System: North Plaza, Development: $7M each in 2009 and 2010. Did I miss something?"

That would be re-striping the parking spaces.

But since the former Park Place South is such a resounding success, perhaps the city will transform the Park Place North into a 35-story urban mall and boutique hotel. I mean, why not right?

by fredo on 11/25/2009 @ 7:14am
"let the electorate decide what that means" Kevin

That we be a good idea, however the electorate will not have voice in filling the office that Julie abandoned. It will be an appointment. I don't agree that people who seek elective office are entering an "at-will" employment situation, however if there are health concerns I would certainly allow for the office holder to depart.

by david on 11/25/2009 @ 9:43am
@Fredo. So she left her post to run for the position, giving up her council position regardless of election results? I wasn't following if that's the case.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 11/25/2009 @ 10:01am
I'm sure there is more money in the auditor's position than the city council. What is the problem here, fredo, don't care for the free enterprise system? I'm sure some of the voters took Julie's decision to jump ship as part of their decision to vote or not vote for her as auditor. If I voted in Julie for city council and I was offended by this move I could easily have voted against her for auditor. The vote, more powerful than you think.

by Erik on 11/25/2009 @ 10:32am
Jennifer Dean thanks the council for considering adding Urban Grace Church to the Tacoma Register of Historic Places.

Nice. Looks like a Tacoma church has been saved. Many more to go.

Great work Historic Tacoma.

by fredo on 11/25/2009 @ 12:02pm
If county auditor was an office that JA aspired to she would have been gracious not to run for city office in 2007. The voters were in effect cheated out of their selection. Now we get an appointed representative and not an elected representative. I'm not OK with that. For me it shows a selfish disregard for our representative system of government. Crenshaw your point that city voters could have said no to Julies auditor bid really misses the point. She was running for a county office, not a city office.

by KevinFreitas on 11/25/2009 @ 12:42pm
So, I'm curious. When it comes to city council vacancy appointments like the one's we're faced with, I'm wondering if people see it like A or B below:

If an electorate -> votes for candidate -> elected official -> appoints interim council member -> appointee, does that make the appointee

A: Representative of the voter's general will since the appointing was done by officials we did indeed elect; or

B: An inside deal done behind closed doors by officials we elected but can't trust as far as we can throw 'em
And how many positions seen as within our City government come via appointment? I'm betting it's more than we want to waste the paper to print the ballots for.

by Nick on 11/25/2009 @ 1:31pm
I think this discussion regarding appointments is important, and don't want to derail it. But if I could start a parallel discussion....

How certain/vetted are the line items for the Six-Year Comprehensive Transportation Program budget? I saw some exciting items (namely those matching funds to extend the LINK), but am curious if this represents more of a "wish list" of round numbers, or if these cost estimates are backed by substantial research and detail.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 11/25/2009 @ 2:47pm
Last I heard, fredo, people in Tacoma voted for the county auditor position. Did I miss the part where Tacoma seceded from Pierce County?

by morgan on 11/25/2009 @ 3:20pm
Speaking of the City's Transportation Plan- I heard that the city is very close to taking ownership back from the state - along with it will come some state money and once it is back in our hands, some Federal money. Baarsma is pushing hard to make this happen but the two council members whose terms expire this month are holding out. Not sure why. Now would be a good time to contact council members in support of taking back the bridge - and re-opening it. I'm not sure when the final vote is on it.

by fredo on 11/25/2009 @ 11:08pm
Kevin- A & B. The appointee may be generally representative but still receive the appointment through a process conducted behind closed doors. I'm not upset that we have an appointment process or that our council is engaged in it. But clearly the appointee is LESS representative than an elected council member. This appointment exercise is really a major distraction for the city council and was entirely avoidable.

Crenshaw, I haven't seen any election figures for county offices broken down to the level of municipalities. It's possible Julie carried Tacoma, however a candidate doesn't have to carry Tacoma to win a county seat.

Nick, I'm enjoying your council live blog, keep up the good work.


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