Special Reports

Petitioners' goal: 7,029 signatures

Sponsors of a Tacoma petition drive to eliminate the city manager's position and install the mayor as chief executive now have a target: They must collect 7,029 valid signatures to put the issue on the November ballot.

Their proposal, if OK'd by voters, would change Tacoma's form of government from the council-manager style to the strong mayor form.

Sherry Bockwinkel, one of the leaders of the drive, said sponsors already are gathering hundreds of signatures. They've given themselves a deadline of July 7 to submit the required number of signatures to the county auditor for verification.

A similar petition drive last year failed for lack of signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

But Bockwinkel believes their drive to put the change of government before voters this year will be successful because of questions raised about management and hiring decisions made by City Manager Ray Corpuz during the David Brame case.

The 7,029 signatures represents 15 percent of the 46,860 Tacoma voters who cast ballots in the November 2002 general election. That percentage is determined by state law.

Kris Sherman, The News Tribune