Neighborhood Council Month in Review - November

Downtown Skyline

Neighborhood Council Month in Review

November 2019

Program Highlights

Neighborhood Council Program Five-Year Review

The ordinance adopting changes to the Neighborhood Council Program will go before the City Council on December 10, 2019 for first reading, and December 17 for second reading. City Council Meetings are held at 747 Market Street in the Council Chambers on first floor starting at 5 PM. 

Innovative Grants

In 2020, the City of Tacoma is adjusting the Innovative Grant process to improve application and project timelines. The changes will increase the amount of time available to apply for projects and decrease the time between application and approval of funding. Community members can expect to see the applications in January of 2020. 

What's Going On?

Last month's emerging issues from across multiple neighborhood councils.

City Moves Forward with Plans to build Emergency Micro-Shelters - The City of Tacoma is moving forward with a plan to establish an emergency micro-shelters site at 802 Martin Luther King Jr. Way to address health and safety concerns caused by the growing encampment at People’s Park. The site, when completed in December, will provide up to 22 micro-shelters and serve up to 35 individuals experiencing homelessness. 

Student Government Day Applications Open Until December 3 - Students grades 9 – 12, who live in Tacoma or attend Tacoma Public Schools, are encouraged to apply to participate in Student Government Day. The application deadline has been extended to December 3 for Student Government Day on December 10.

City Manager and Tacoma Public Utilities Director Select Laurie Hardie as New Safety Director - City Manager Elizabeth Pauli and Tacoma Public Utilities Director Jackie Flowers have selected Laurie Hardie for the position of Safety Director. Hardie will assume her new role effective December 2, 2019.

Upcoming Events and Public Hearings

Coffee with the Mayor - Join Mayor Woodards for the next coffee hour from 5 – 6 PM, Thursday, December 5 at Antique Sandwich Co. (5102 N. Pearl St.). This will be the last event in this series. 

Citizen's Forum - The next Citizen's Forum is Tuesday, December 10. Citizen's Forum is an opportunity to speak before Council on any matter the City has jurisdiction over. 

Emergency Micro-Shelters Community Meeting - A public meeting about this project will be hosted by the City and its partners at the Tacoma Public Library Main Branch (1102 Tacoma Ave. South) on Wednesday, December 4, at 4:30 PM. You can learn more about this project and other authorized encampments on the City's Web page.

Asked & Answered

Below are a list of topics and concerns that came up over the last month during Neighborhood Council meetings city-wide. Read on for clarifications and answers to your questions. 

You Asked for It

Question: If a telephone pole is damaged and is a possible danger to the safety of those around it, how can we get the pole repaired quickly? (South Tacoma)

Answer: For concerns about poles in the right of way you can always contact Tacoma Public Utilities customer service at (253) 502-8600. Tacoma Municipal Code 10.22.200 also allows for emergency procedures, which allows for the immediate repair of poles that may cause a danger to the public. In emergency cases the entity that owns the pole can either repair the pole in a timely manner, or the City can repair the pole and bill them for the work. 

Question: What is the process from the City's point of view for us to officially change our By Laws (including any approval that we may need, and by whom)? (West End)

Answer: Neighborhood Councils are able to amend their own bylaws without approval from the City so long as they comply with the municipal code and standards and guidelines. Under the current rules, bylaws must be reviewed biannually and submitted to the city when changed, and may not unfairly limit board participation by Tacoma residents.

Question: Are we allowed (per City rules) to offer board membership to people who reside in unincorporated Pierce County? (West End) 

Answer: Funding and programs of the city are intended to benefit the residents of Tacoma. That said, the proposed code revisions outline that any resident, renter or owner of property or business and their employees, or nonprofit volunteers, who live or work within a Neighborhood Council Boundary, may participate fully in that Neighborhood Council without conditions. Proposed code changes do have an option for Boards to restrict members of the governing board only to individuals who live within the Neighborhood Council, but do not limit you from including individuals who live outside your boundary but may have another connection as described above.