City Hall News: Charter Review appointments, Hilltop development discussion and Deputy Mayor Woodards

Tacoma residents will have plenty of opportunities next week to learn more about what’s happening in city government.

Tacoma City Council’s Neighborhoods and Housing Committee will meet on Monday to interview individuals who have applied to serve on the Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority Board. On Tuesday, Tacoma City Council will hold its regular weekly study session and council meeting. Also on Tuesday, Tacoma City Council’s Committee of the Whole will meet to discuss councilmember appointments for the new year.

Here is a look ahead at some notable meetings, events, and issues on deck next week at Tacoma City Hall.


Appointments to Tacoma’s Charter Review Committee are expected to be finalized next week.

As Tacoma’s governing document, the charter was adopted in 1953 and is reviewed at least once every 10 years by a citizens committee. Any recommendations made by the committee are approved or rejected by Tacoma voters. For example, in 2004 the committee recommended nearly two-dozen charter changes. Councilmembers pared that list down to 11 proposed changes, and voters approved all the changes.

Last month, Tacoma City Council’s Government Performance and Finance Committee interviewed candidates who applied to serve on the Charter Review Committee and made the following recommendations for appointments: Bill Baarsma (Chair), Theresa Baker, Gary Brackett, Mabel Edmonds, Tim Farrell, Eric Hahn, Charles Horne, Justin Leighton, Mark Martinez, James Merritt, John Messina, Kenneth Miller, Patricia Talton, Catherine Ushka, and Justin Van Dyk. The Charter Review Committee will submit its charter change recommendations to councilmembers by Tues., May 6.

Councilmembers are scheduled to vote on the appointments during their meeting on Tues., Jan. 7, at 5 p.m. at the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St., First Floor (City Council Chambers), in downtown Tacoma. More information is available online here and here.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of Tacoma’s charter review, click on the following links:


Councilmembers will meet next week for an update on a plan that aims to spur development and economic revitalization in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood.

The Hilltop Subarea Plan and Environmental Impact Statement Project (formerly referred to as the “MLK Subarea Plan and EIS”) is a partnership between the City of Tacoma and Hilltop neighborhood residents, business owners, and property owners. Staff from the City’s Planning and Development Services Department will provide councilmembers with an overview of the project’s schedule, ongoing community outreach efforts, input and feedback gathered so far from project participants, redevelopment strategies, and next steps.

The final draft of the Subarea Plan and the final draft of the EIS were released on Tues., Dec. 31, 2013. A public hearing will be held on Weds., Jan. 22, 2014.

Councilmembers will discuss the issue during a study session, which will be held on Tues., Jan. 7, at 12 p.m. in Room 16 of Tacoma Municipal Building North, 733 Market St., in downtown Tacoma. A copy of the agenda is available online here.


To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Hilltop Subarea Plan and Environmental Impact State Project, click on the following links:


Tacoma City Councilmember Victoria Woodards is poised to become the city’s deputy mayor. The one-year term was previously held by Councilmember Marty Campbell. Woodards was elected to serve on Tacoma City Council in 2009, and re-elected last year. She currently chairs Tacoma City Council’s Human Services and Education Committee, as well as the Tacoma Gang Project. Councilmember Woodards, an Army veteran, previously served on the Metro Parks Tacoma Board of Commissioners. She is currently the executive director of the Tacoma Urban League. Her term as councilmember expires on Dec. 31, 2017. Councilmembers are scheduled to vote on the appointment during their meeting on Tues., Jan. 7, at 5 p.m. at the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St., First Floor (City Council Chambers), in downtown Tacoma. More information is available online here and here.


Also of interest, the City of Tacoma is accepting bids from select contractors on a project to demolish a two-story, 1,800-square-foot single-family residence on Tacoma’s Eastside. The winning bidder will be responsible for razing the troubled and derelict and abandoned home (located at 1643 E. 32nd St.), two detached buildings, and one attached shed; removing wood handrails, a small well unit, concrete stairs in the front yard, and a fence in a nearby alley; removing and disposing of any existing asbestos; and clearing the property of all demolition debris. Bids will be received until 11 a.m. on Weds., Jan. 22. A pre-bid meeting has not been scheduled. The project budget is estimated at $20,000. More information is available online here.