City of Tacoma News

1. New City Manager Eric Anderson to start July 15

Eric Anderson will take the helm as Tacoma’s new City Manager on July 15. Anderson, who was recently the City Manager of Des Moines, Iowa, was chosen in May by the City Manager’s Performance Appraisal Committee to become Tacoma’s next City Manager.

2. Ordinance could put $45 million Tacoma Dome bond issue on ballot

The July 12 City Council agenda includes the final reading of an ordinance that could place a $45 million Tacoma Dome renovation and improvements bond measure on the Sept. 20, 2005, ballot for the consideration of Tacoma voters. If approved by voters, Proposition 1 would allow the City to issue up to $45 million of general obligation bonds maturing within 25 years to finance renovations and improvements to the Tacoma Dome. The measure would be tax neutral for Tacoma taxpayers, since it would continue the payments at the same level taxpayers have paid for the last 25 years for the original construction of the Tacoma Dome.

3. Measure could put low-income housing levy on November ballot

Members of the City Council are scheduled to hear the first reading of an ordinance July 12 that could place a low-income housing levy on the Nov. 8, 2005 ballot. If approved, Tacoma voters would be asked to approve or reject a six-year increase in the regular property tax levy to raise $2,500,000 annually to help finance affordable housing for low and very low income households. The levy would increase property taxes by $0.18 per $1,000 assessed value and allow the levy to increase 4 percent per year in each of the succeeding five years.

4. Council meeting to include public hearing on group housing moratorium

A public hearing on an immediate 365-day moratorium on the establishment of or acceptance of applications for land use permits for group homes, group residential facilities and emergency and transitional housing will begin at approximately 5:30 p.m. during the July 12 City Council meeting. The City Council imposed a citywide six-month moratorium on new group housing on May 17, 2005.

5. Study session features Freedom Fair contract, group homes inventory

City Council members are scheduled to discuss an ordinance related to the annual Fourth of July celebration that would clarify the Council’s discretion to continue the contract with the Tacoma Events Commission as long as the City is satisfied with their performance. Council will also hear a presentation from Tacoma Economic Development Department staff and the Legal Department regarding the emergency moratorium on group care and special needs housing. The presentation will include an overview of the inventory of housing and facilities for special needs populations. The public may attend the noon 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. Replays of the study session audio can be heard Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. on CityPost (channel 85 on Click!, channel 77 on Comcast).

6. Blue Ribbon Panel to hold its first meeting July 13

Members of the Blue Ribbon Panel on High Risk/High Needs Residents in Tacoma will hold their first meeting at 5 p.m. July 13 in Room 708 of the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St. City Council members appointed the Blue Ribbon Panel on June 14 to study the issue of housing for high-risk and high-needs individuals.