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Charter Review Committee

2014 Tacoma Charter Review - A Look at How Your City Works

Proposed Charter Amendments Published in the Tacoma News Tribune

The proposed 2014 City Charter amendments will be published in the Tacoma News Tribune once a week for the four weeks to comply with state law (RCW 35.22.170). A 12-page insert will be published on October 5, 16, 19, and 30 and will also be available online. You can also view the resolutions in their entirety below. If you have questions, please contact the City Clerk's Office at dsorum@cityoftacoma.org or (253) 591-5361.

Proposed Charter Amendments Forwarded by the City Council

At the special meeting on June 17, 2014, the City Council forwarded 12 proposed Charter amendments to the July 15, 2014 City Council meeting. If approved, the amendments will be placed on the November 4, 2014 ballot. 

At the meeting of July 15, 2014, the City Council approved the following 12 proposed Charter amendments:

Resolution No. 38948 - Election provisions
Resolution No. 38949 - Gender neutral language
Resolution No. 38950 - Anti-discrimination provisions
Resolution No. 38951 - Effective date of emergency ordinances
Amended Resolution No. 38952 - City Council authority to confirm appointment of department heads
Resolution No. 38953 - City Council confirmation of Director of Utilities
Amended Resolution No. 38954 - Adding requirements for the Landmarks Preservation Commission
Amended Resolution No. 38955 - Term limits for Mayor and Council
Amended Resolution No. 38956 - Citizen Commission on Elected Salaries
Resolution No. 38957 - Deleting prohibition of new cemeteries
Resolution No. 38958 - City employee participation in conservation, environmental, and other programs
Resolution No. 38959 - Removing citizenship and City residency as requirements of eligibility for City employment

At the meeting on July 22, 2014, the City Council by Resolution No. 38971 transmitted 12 ballot measures to the Pierce County Auditor to be placed on the ballot for the Special Municipal Election to be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014.

Background Information

The following documents were available to the public in advance of the public hearing during the City Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 10, 2014. 

2014 Charter Review Committee Final Report - Includes the majority report and four minority reports transmitted by the Charter Review Committee to City Council on Tuesday, May 6, 2014.

Final Report Form of Government "Blue" Version Charter - majority report
Amendment Support Sheets
Term Limits - Charter Review Committee Form of Government only
Amendments Proposed by the City Council
Term Limits - Mayor
Public Financing of Campaigns
Neighborhood Business Districts

Amendments Proposed by City Staff
Personnel Rules Regarding Competitive Examinations
Pursuant to Section 2.25 of the City Charter, the City Council shall commence a comprehensive review of the City Charter no less frequently than once every ten years by appointing citizens to a Charter Review Committee. On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, the City Council approved Resolution No. 38773 creating a Charter Review Committee. There were 15 positions on the Charter Review Committee and all positions were appointed in January 2014 in the following manner:

  • The Mayor and each City Council member recommended one person for appointment.
  • The Government Performance and Finance Committee recommended the appointment of six people, to reflect a cross section of the citizens of Tacoma.
  • The Mayor selected the chairperson of the Committee.

Reference Documents

Resolution No. 38733
Designating the City Charter Review as a special project of limited duration.

Resolution No. 38773
Creating the Charter Review Committee.

Resolution No. 38963 with Substitute Exhibit "A"
Appointing individuals to the "For" and "Against" committees

City Charter
Last amended following the 2004 Charter Review Committee's recommendations.

Revisiting Tacoma's Government, a Second Look at its Council-Manager System
A joint study sponsored by the City Club of Tacoma and the Municipal League of Tacoma/Pierce County July 2003.

A Study of Dissension and Conflict Over Council-Manager Government in Tacoma
A dissertation written by Charter Review Committee Chair Bill Baarsma October 1972.

2004 Charter Review Recommendations to Council

Committee Members and Roles

Bill Baarsma
Home: (253) 759-6765
Cell: (253) 777-8561

Catherine Ushka
Home and Cell: (253) 579-3129

Justin Leighton
Cell: (253) 677-9448

Theresa Baker
Cell: (253) 906-4425

Gary Brackett
Cell: (253) 431-2403

Mabel Edmonds
Home and Cell: (253) 377-1754

Tim Farrell
Home: (253) 431-8081

Eric Hahn
Cell: (253) 777-2713

Dr. Charles Horne
Cell: (253) 861-3969

Mark Martinez
Cell: (253) 861-0585

Jim Merritt
Cell: (253) 720-1860

John Messina
Cell: (253) 973-6970

Ken Miller
Home: (253) 973-3171

Pat Talton
Business: (253) 272-0771 extension 406

Justin Van Dyk
Home and Cell: (253) 203-5759 

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City Clerk's Office
(253) 591-5505