Council to consider city charter review

The Tacoma City Charter may soon receive an in-depth inspection and possible overhaul. At its Aug. 12 meeting, the City Council will consider creating a Charter Review Committee as well as a process for appointing its members.

The City Club of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Municipal League recently conducted a joint study to analyze the operations of Tacoma’s government. The group presented its findings and recommendations to the council at its Aug. 5 study session. The group recommended a charter review, which was adopted in 1953. The charter has been reviewed several times, the last in 1992.

“This organization needs to take a reflective look at its charter to see if there are ways to improve how we operate,” Councilman Rick Talbert said.

If the council approves the resolution, the Charter Review Committee will be charged with examining the existing charter and providing its recommendations to the City Council by May 18, 2004. The council would then submit the proposed changes to the Pierce County Auditor’s office for a special municipal election in November 2004.

The resolution calls for appointing 13 members to the Charter Review Committee. Each of the nine council members would recommend one citizen to the Appointments Committee, who would recommend an additional four participants.

“Some citizens have expressed concerns about how the city operates, and have launched a petition drive to change the form of government. Whether or not that occurs, I believe that we need to take a deliberate approach of reviewing our charter to respond to those concerns,” Talbert said.