Morgan's Brain

Jun. 15, 2009 at 9:20am

City Agencies to Discuss Surplus Property Process at June 16 Study Session

Some of you may know that I have not been a big fan of the way community owned property is sold off here in the little burg of Tacoma.

It started a few years ago when the school district decided - without any community discussion - that it was going to sell the historic Rogers Elementary overlooking the East side. Well, they sold it - for way under market value - to a church that wanted to put in a homeless shelter. You can imagine the residents weren't too happy. Here's the property on Historic Tacoma's watch list - now the church is trying to turn a profit by asking more than the school district did. Here's the TNT's Kathleen Merryman on the subject. Meanwhile crime is rising on the East side and the building sits vacant.

Then a few months ago Tacoma Public Utilities - without any community discussion - decided it needed to dispose of nine properties. While they have halted temporarily the sale - they are still not putting forth any effort to engage the community. They claim they will talk... as soon as they have a purchase offer in hand.

So, it is with much interest that I read the following news release from the city:

Joint City Council/Joint Municipal Action Committee study session

The June 16 study session will be a joint City Council/Joint Municipal Action Committee (JMAC) meeting. During the joint session, representatives from JMAC will provide an update on the collaborative work underway for Tacoma 360, which is a group working to bridge the achievement gap in Tacoma schools and the community. A second item on the agenda, includes a discussion on the policies related to declaring and disposing of surplus property.

The Council will not take public comment during the noon study session in the Tacoma Municipal Building North, 733 Market St., Room 16. Audio from the session will be broadcast live on TV Tacoma and on On-demand audio archives are available on the Web within 24 hours of the meeting at

Contact: Karrie Spitzer, Community Relations,, (253) 591-5790

Unfortunately, I can't make the noon meeting downtown, but I hope others can - and then post about it. I don't have too high of hopes about any outcome from the meeting, but I'm glad they are at least talking about it. It's all about the baby steps in T-town.


comments [1]  |  posted under tacoma


by morgan on 6/15/2009 @ 11:32pm
This just in from Council Member Julie Anderson:

At Council’s request, I met last week with Tacoma Public School Superintendent Dr. Art Jarvis, Metro Parks Director of Business & Operational Support Services Wayne Williams and Tacoma Public Utilities Director Bill Gaines to discuss how we can better inform the public regarding property owned by either party that is being surplussed or is for sale. State law that establishes the process for the handling of surplus property is based in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), so we cannot make changes to that. However, we did explore how to make the process for each of us more transparent and how to link our info together so it is available to the public through a single web site. I’ll be sharing more information on this at tomorrow’s Joint Council/Joint Municipal Action Committee Study Session.