Tacoma schedules more community budget input meetings

The City of Tacoma will hold a second round of community budget input meetings in each of Tacoma’s five Council districts beginning later this month.

The meetings follow news this week that Tacoma City Manager T. C. Broadnax has made a budget proposal that calls for a variety of measures in order to close what is projected to be a $63 million general fund shortfall over the next two years. The recommendations include eliminating 217 jobs (153 through layoffs and retirements; 64 through not filling vacant positions); the police department faces 29 cuts and the fire department faces 29 cuts in order to save $14.3 million; implementing a $20 fee on vehicle license tabs to raise almost $4 million; eliminating a business tax exemption for healthcare nonprofits to raise $5.5 million.

Similar community budget input meetings were held in June and July, and Tacoma City Council was briefed on the public comments gathered at those meetings during two study sessions in August and September.

“We were very impressed with the level of feedback we received during the first round of community budget input meetings, and made a commitment to go back out into the community to answer any questions that people may have about this proposed budget,” said Broadnax. Community budget input meetings aim to engage residents and community stakeholders, and give them an opportunity to learn more about the service and program changes for the next biennium.”Community input has been crucial in helping city staff identify and develop recommendations for this proposed budget.”

Here is the schedule of upcoming community budget meetings:

  • Mon., Oct. 22 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Gray Middle School (Cafeteria), 6229 S. Tyler St.
  • Weds., Oct. 24 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Wheelock Library, 3722 N. 26th St.
  • Mon., Oct. 29 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Tacoma Main Library (Olympic Room), 1102 Tacoma Ave.
  • Thurs., Nov. 1 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Lincoln High School, 701 S. 37th St.
  • Mon., Nov. 5 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Center at Norpoint, 4818 Nassau Ave. NE

City Hall is also collecting comments through its online community budget input box until Nov. 30.

More information about the City of Tacoma’s 2013-2014 Proposed Biennial Budget is available online at cityoftacoma.org.