City Hall News: STAR Community, TCRA appointments and MLK Holiday

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

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

Tacoma City Council will hold a study session, committee of the whole meeting, and regular weekly council meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

City Council’s Infrastructure, Planning, and Sustainability Committee will meet Wednesday afternoon and is expected to discuss some of the accomplishments achieved last year related to Tacoma’s Mobility Master Plan, which is the city’s blueprint for creating a system of bicycle and pedestrian improvements citywide.

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

Finally, City Council’s Public Safety, Human Services, and Education Committee will meet Thursday afternoon.

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

MLK HOLIDAY

Administrative offices at Tacoma City Hall and in other City of Tacoma facilities will close on Mon., Jan. 20, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. Also closed on Monday: Tacoma Municipal Court and the City’s senior centers. Tacoma’s landfill, recycling center, and household hazardous waste facility will open as normally scheduled on Monday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Garbage, recycling, and yard/food waste pick-ups will not be affected. Police and fire personnel will be on duty, and animal control personnel will be on duty from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tacoma Public Library branches will be closed on Saturday and Monday. There will be no parking enforcement by City staff on the holiday. More information is available online here. Three major events hosted by the City of TacomaUniversity of Washington Tacoma, and Bates Technical College will be held to mark the holiday. Admission is free at the Washington State History Museum in downtown Tacoma.

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To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. events and activities in Tacoma, click on the following links:

STAR COMMUNITY UPDATE

Councilmembers will meet Tuesday to learn more about its role as a leading livable and sustainable community.

In November, the Washington, D.C.-based Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating (STAR) Community organization named Tacoma the first of 30 pilot communities to submit and receive STAR certification. The organization and certification aims to help cities and counties achieve meaningful sustainability through the first national community livability and sustainability rating system. According to City staff, Tacoma performed particularly well under built environment; climate and energy; education, arts and community; and natural systems, leaving more room for improvement in the economy and jobs, equity and empowerment, and health and safety categories.

During the meeting next week, Tacoma Sustainability Manager Kristin Lynett will provide councilmembers with an overview of the STAR program, which allows local governments to use the rating system to evaluate, quantify, and promote livability and sustainability efforts. Councilmembers will discuss the issue during a study session on Tues., Jan. 21, at 12 p.m., at the Tacoma Municipal Building, 733 Market St., Room 16, in downtown Tacoma.

A copy of the agenda is available online here.

TCRA BOARD APPOINTMENTS

Appointments to the 10-member Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority (TCRA) Board are expected to be finalized next week.

TCRA serves the local community by administering loans to low-income families who need help buying or repairing their homes, as well as to developers who provide multi-family housing to low-income families. The board also works with businesses that rehabilitate blighted commercial space, as well as with non-profit organizations that provide key services to the local community. The board consists of lawyers, bankers, contractors, certified public accountants, and real estate brokers or agents. They serve two-year terms. The board meets at 7:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month.

City Council’s Neighborhoods and Housing Committee interviewed candidates earlier this month and forwarded its recommendations to the full council. If a resolution is adopted on Tuesday, Chris Van Vechten, Steve Snider, Teresa Colby, Jason Kors, Edward “Curt” Curtis, and Michael McNiel would join the TCRA Board. More information is available online here and here.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority Board, click on the following links:

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION APPOINTMENTS

Looking ahead, councilmembers are tentatively scheduled to vote later this month on whether to appoint three people to serve on Tacoma’s Human Rights Commission. The 15-member commission is tasked with studying, investigating, and mediating community issues that may result from prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination. Commission members serve three-year appointments and include representatives of the general public and the employer, labor, religious, racial, ethnic, handicapped, and women’s groups in the city. The commission meets every third Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Tacoma City Hall. If a resolution is adopted on Tues., Jan. 28, Vazaskia Caldwell, Fred Schuneman, and Christina Zinkgraf would join Tacoma’s Human Rights Commission for terms that would begin on Jan. 28 and continue through Dec. 31, 2016.

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

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