Group again pushing for city government change

Time for a Change has filed another petition for a strong-mayor system.

Time for a Change, the sponsors of a petition to alter Tacoma’s form of government that turned out more than 12,000 signatures last year, filed their proposal again today at the City Clerk’s office.

A date error in last year’s petition,part of the fallout from the Brame scandal, prevented it from making the ballot.

“The proposed changes to Tacoma’s charter are all about accountability of elected officials and open access to government,” said Rick Cvitanich, charter change sponsor. “Since 1953, we have had a city manager form of government with no accountability to the citizens of Tacoma.”

He continued: “Our goal is to turn in 8,000 signatures by July 10, 2004, for placement on this year’s November ballot. I have personally met with eight of the nine council members, and I have been assured that if the necessary signatures are collected on this proposal, that they will vote to put it on the ballot along with any recommendations by the Charter Review Committee.”

If voters approve the changes in 2004 or 2005, on the second Monday in January 2006, the city manager will retire; the mayor will change to a strong mayor position and be removed from the City Council; and the City Council will be made up of eight members, with the city attorney becoming an elected position. By the second Monday in January 2008, the council will be made up of seven members.

“Time for a Change believes the Charter Review Committee should provide citizens a choice,” Cvitanich said. “If they don’t, we intend to give them that choice.”

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