City of Tacoma News

1. Resolution encourages Congress to continue Community Development Block Grant program

A resolution before the City Council on Feb. 15 would express concern about proposed changes in the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The proposed federal budget submitted to Congress would consolidate CDBG with 17 other programs under the Department of Commerce, creating the new “Strengthening America’s Communities Grant Program.” The proposed consolidation would reduce substantially the funding for CDBG programs that are critical to providing affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families in cities and counties. For 30 years the CDBG has supported cities and counties in creating jobs, increasing economic development opportunities and expanding homeownership. The resolution is sponsored by members of the City Council’s Neighborhoods and Housing Committee.

2. Resolution would extend City Manager’s contract

A resolution on the Feb. 15 City Council agenda would extend the Council’s employment agreement with City Manager Jim Walton until June 30. Walton’s employment agreement is currently scheduled to end March 31. The contract extension continues Walton’s employment as City Manager at his current pay rate.

3. Council to hear affordable housing levy and county-wide planning reports

At the Feb. 15 study session, the City Council will hear a report from Councilmember Julie Anderson and the Tacoma-Pierce County Affordable Housing Consortium on efforts to develop an affordable housing levy proposal for the November ballot. The Council also will hear a presentation from Donna Stenger of the City’s Growth Management Division on collaborative efforts between the City and Pierce County to develop countywide planning policies under the state’s Growth Management Act.
The public may attend the study session in Room 16, Tacoma Municipal Building North, 733 Market St., but the Council will not take public comment. CityPost (Channel 85 on Click!, Channel 77 on Comcast) will air the audio portion of the session live.

4. City offers free resource conservation training

The City of Tacoma’s Resource Conservation Stewardship Program is looking for volunteers eager to promote earth-friendly practices. The program offers 40 hours of free environmental training in topics such as household hazardous waste, recycling, waste reduction and water quality. In exchange for the training, stewards promise to spend 40 hours teaching Tacoma citizens ways to change their environmental behavior.

The training, which includes lectures, field trips and hands-on activities, runs from March 1 through April 26. The application deadline is Feb. 22. For more information, call (253) 573-2415, or visit

5. Government Leadership Institute looks through the media lens

On Feb. 14 the Government Leadership Institute will resume its series of free seminars intended to inform and educate students and citizens on the basics of accessing community programs and services, engaging in the public process and examining the challenges within the community. The sixth seminar, “Image of the City: the Media’s Impact on Perceptions of Tacoma” will be held from 6:45 to 9 p.m. in Carwein Auditorium (KEY 102) on the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT) campus, 1900 Commerce St. Featured panelists include David Zeeck, The News Tribune; Scott Huntley, City of Tacoma Community Relations; John Larson, Tacoma Weekly; Nancy Johnson, TV Tacoma; Nina Rook of City Club; and Marion Weed, longtime community activist and Northeast Tacoma Neighborhood Council member.

The Leadership Institute is a cooperative effort of the City of Tacoma and UWT’s Urban Studies Program. Various topics will be discussed over the next several weeks.