Submitted by Morgan Alexander.
In light of the recent talk of the Tacoma City Council getting pay raises, the Tacoma Sun thought it would be interesting to see exactly what the council has accomplished so far this year. The results will shock you!
At the time of this writing, 17 resolutions have been passed this year. All of the resolutions originated out of the Community and Economic Development department with most of the resolutions involving granting Multi-Family Housing Property Tax Exemptions.
Not one resolution originated from a council member.
The City Council has done a little better on creating ordinances. So far this year, two ordinances out of 42 were sponsored by city council members… although one of those ordinances was created in 2021.
What were the two ordinances?
ORD28799 (created 12-1-2021, passed 2-7-2023): “(Continued from the meeting of December 14, 2021) An ordinance amending, renaming, and renumbering Chapter 9.16 of the Municipal Code, relating to Streets and Sidewalks – Keeping Clean, by adding two new sections, to prevent obstruction and damage to sidewalks from the loading, unloading, and transport of goods; and amending the penalty provision to align with Tacoma’s Uniform Enforcement Code.” Sponsored by Council Member Ushka.
ORD28894 (passed 7-11-2023): “An ordinance amending Chapter 1.95 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Rental Housing Code, to require landlords to comply with health and safety laws; have a City business license before increasing rent or evicting tenants; set limits on late fees for rent and on pet deposits; require 120-day notice to raise rent; add new regulations for shared housing; and standardize screening criteria for the amount of tenant income required to qualify for housing, for reviewing a tenant’s criminal history, and acceptable identification.” Sponsored by Mayor Woodards.
Should we expect more results out of the council after this year’s 12% raise? What about after next year’s 20% raise?
Tacoma still has serious crime and safety issues – and possibly gang issues. Our neighborhoods are still under constant threat of encroachment from incompatible land use codes that haven’t been revised in decades. A proposed 2.4 million square foot warehouse off South Tacoma Way is one example. It is also still perfectly legal for any number of rendering plants and pulp mills to open up within the city limits. Tacoma still lags behind other large Northwest cities in terms of tree canopy. Tree canopies are critical in reducing pollution in the air and ground while also helping to reduce urban heat islands.
Clearly, there is much work still to do.