City of Tacoma News: Tacoma City Council

Goings on at the City Council's July 23 meeting.

Tacoma City Council
Study Session
Noon, Tuesday, July 23, 2002
Room 16
Tacoma Municipal Bldg. North
728 St. Helens Ave.
Video Voters’ pamphlet
Carol Mathewson, General Services Communications Division manager, will outline the history, process and rules of the city’s Video Voters’ Pamphlet. City Attorney Robin Jenkinson will describe two federal court decisions that may have implications for the future of the service. One of the cases was decided here in Tacoma and involved the City of Tacoma as a party. The other was decided last fall and concerned the City of Seattle voters’ pamphlet. Current rules in Tacoma, consistent with state law, restrict candidates to speaking only about themselves. The Seattle ruling upheld one candidate’s assertion that he should have the freedom to talk about other things, like his opponent. Jenkinson and Mathewson will discuss options and seek direction from the council as to what changes, if any, should be made to the Video Voters’ Pamphlet.
Green police facilities
The council will also learn about the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The Police Department hopes to build its new headquarters and four substations, as well as remodel the old Costco building, using LEED standards. Judith Lorbeir, City Manager’s Office, Jim Howatson, Police, and Mark D’Andrea, Public Works, will overview the LEED program, which encourages new public buildings to be designed, built and certified to The public may attend the study session. The council will not take comment.
Tacoma City Council
Regular Meeting
5 p.m., Tuesday, July 23, 2002
Council Chambers
Tacoma Municipal Building
747 Market St.
Drug screening for new hires
If the council approves, the city will put into place a new pre-employment drug screening policy. Eighteen months ago, the City of Tacoma discontinued its blanket pre-employment drug screening practice for most new hires while officials studied new guidelines created by a Washington court case. If approved, the new ordinance would continue the federally required pre-employment screening and add new categories of employees for whom drug use would create safety or security concerns-such as operators of special equipment not requiring a CDL endorsement and those employees who have access to police information regarding drug cases.
Public Hearing: Critical Areas
The council wants your opinion on proposed changes to its critical areas preservation ordinance. Proposed changes include exemptions for shoreline development projects in Tacoma’s designated shoreline areas that have a direct benefit to fish and wildlife habitat and that are exempt from state shoreline permit requirements. The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the proposed changes June 5. The council’s hearing will take place after its regularly scheduled 5 p.m. meeting.
Dept. of Ecology grants
The council will vote whether to accept two Department of Ecology grants totaling $132,929 for solid waste programs. If accepted, Solid Waste Management will use the grant money, along with a total city match of $44,310, to implement programs to help reduce the levels of mercury found in the city’s garbage and sewage and to study the feasibility of establishing a city composting facility.

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