Tacoma council to hear public comment on charter amendments

Staff writerJune 9, 2014 

Tacoma City Hall Peter Haley / Staff photographer


Voters will have the ultimate say this fall on proposed changes to the city charter. Tuesday night, the City Council is holding a public meeting to hear what voters want to see on the ballot.

Last month, the city’s Charter Review Committee handed over about two dozen suggestions for charter changes to the City Council. Those suggestions were condensed into 19 potential ballot issues (see all potential ballot amendments at this link on the city of Tacoma’s website). Council members have said that not all amendments can be on the ballot.

City Council members added three more ballot contenders last week: One to extend the number of terms council members and the mayor could serve, another for publicly funded campaigns and a third to add Neighborhood Business Districts to the charter. The city charter is essentially the city’s constitution.

Nine of the 15 members of the Charter Review Committee want to see the city’s form of government shift from one governed by a City Council and city manager, to one ruled by a strong mayor and a City Council. An executive would assist the mayor in day-to-day affairs.

The last time members of the public spoke at a hearing on the charter review process, in April, they overwhelmingly said they wanted to see the form of government stay the way it is. After that hearing, the Charter Review Committee went to another meeting where some members said they didn’t have to listen to more public comment.

The public hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council chambers, 747 Market St., Tacoma.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542

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