Clarifying Tacoma's Charter Review telephone town hall

Charter review committee taking questions via phone, internet

Staff writerApril 10, 2014 

Last week, homes and businesses across Tacoma received a postcard in the mail about ways to comment on the Charter Review Committee’s work. The postcard says:

Participate in the live Telephone Town Hall on April 17, at 7:00 p.m. Hang out on your couch and call (253) 591-5505, post publically at or via Twitter (@cityoftacoma), or email to ask your question. You can follow along by watching the TV Tacoma broadcast on Channel 12 or by streaming it on from any device.      

That phone number is a direct line to the City Clerk’s office. You can call there anytime and leave a comment or question with a city worker (or on the machine after hours). Those comments will be forwarded to the Charter Review Commission in time for the April 17 meeting. You can also call in during the meeting, starting at 7 p.m., and leave a comment or question, said city spokewoman Maria Lee.

What isn't mentioned on the postcard is on April 16, 10,000 Tacoma residents will receive a robocall telling them about charter review. The following day, when the hearing is held, 7,500 of those people will receive a robocall asking if the resident wants to participate in the telephone town hall.

“If you are one of those people and you decide to stay on the line, you will be automatically entered into the town hall,” Lee said.

Lee said the phone numbers are selected at random, with an equal number of calls going to all five City Council districts. Those who receive a call can leave a comment, ask a question (which will be relayed to the committee), hang up or listen in, she said.

If you are not called, you have two options to watch the town hall live:

  • Attend the meeting in person at 7 p.m., April 17 at the Tacoma City Council chambers at City Hall, 747 Market St.
  • Watch the hearing at
  • Watch the TV Tacoma broadcast on Channel 12

If you attend the meeting in person, said charter review liaison Jeanne Harris, you can write down questions on an index card. The committee is not taking live comments at that time, as it did during Wednesday night's public hearing.

If you just want to submit comments or questions for the Charter Review Committee to consider, here are a few ways:

Lee said within 24 hours of the meeting, a list of questions and answers will be posted on the city’s website.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542

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