Recommendations from Charter Review Committee at tonight’s public hearing

The Charter Review Committee will hold a public hearing tonight to receive comment on proposed amendments to the Tacoma City Charter.

The committee has recommended the city retain the city council-city manager form of government, a contentious issue in the aftermath of Police Chief David Brame fatally shooting his wife, Crystal, and himself just over a year ago.

Time for a Change, the sponsors of a petition to alter Tacoma’s form of government that turned out more than 12,000 signatures last year, filed a similar proposal earlier this year. A date error in last year’s petition prevented it from making the ballot.

Petition sponsors hope to gather enough signatures to put their strong mayor form of government plan on this November’s ballot, along with any recommendations made by the Charter Review Committee.

The committee has considered a number of questions, including issues on the structure of city government, term limits, human resources and finance, among others.

Here are some of the recommendations of the Charter Review Committee:

- Impose a 10-year limit on the City Manager.

- Require the City Council to review the City Manager’s performance.

- Mandate a review of the Tacoma City Charter every 10 years.

- Allow for a summary of each new ordinance after passage to be published once in the official newspaper of the city -Tacoma Daily Index – instead of the entire ordinance.

A listing of the Charter Review Committee’s proposed amendments can be found at www.cityoftacoma.org/51charterreview.

For a printed copy, contact the City Clerk’s office at 253/591-5198.

The public hearing is set for 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers, on the first floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St.

CityPost – Channel 85 on Click!, Channel 77 on Comcast – will air the audio portion of the meeting live.

Recommendations on any aspect of the charter may also be e-mailed to
charterreview@cityoftacoma.org.

The Charter Review Committee’s recommendations are to be formally presented to the City Council on May 18. The council would then submit the proposed changes to the Pierce County Auditor’s office for a special municipal election in November 2004.