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Charter Review

The City Charter requires the City Council to commence a comprehensive review of the City Charter no less frequently than once every ten years by appointing citizens to a Charter Review Committee (Section 2.25)

 

The 2024 Charter Review process is currently underway. View details below.   


 

Proposed Charter Amendments 

 

The City Council received the Final Report of the 2024 Charter Review Committee on May 6, 2024, and will discuss proposed Charter amendments from May to August 2024. 

 

For more information, view agendas and recordings of the:

A list of meeting dates and links is available under the timeline below. Check back to this page for updated information. For questions, contact the City Clerk's Office at 253-591-5505 or cityclerk@cityoftacoma.org. 

 

 

2024 Charter Review Timeline:

  • Tuesday, October 17, 2023: City Council resolution creating the Charter Review Committee (CRC) 
  • Monday, November 6, 2023: CRC applications due 
  • November–December 2023: CRC member selection and appointment process (See Resolution No. 41324, City Council resolution appointing CRC members, effective Jan. 2024)
  • January–April 2024: CRC meetings held (view agendas, minutes, and recordings)
  • Tuesday, May 7, 2024: CRC final report and recommendations due to City Council
  • May–August 2024: City Council reviews recommendations and staff prepares for elections. Below is a list of meetings where Charter topics were discussed:
    • April 30, 2024: City Council study session
    • Monday, May 6, 2024: City Council special meeting
    • Tuesday, May 7, 2024: City Council study session
    • Friday, May 17, 2024: City Council special meeting
    • Tuesday, May 21, 2024: City Council study session (Public Utility Board joint study session) 
    • Friday, May 31, 2024: City Council special meeting
    • Tuesday, June 4, 2024: Committee of the Whole special meeting
    • Friday, June 7, 2024: City Council special meeting
    • Tuesday, June 11, 2024: City Council study session
    • (Tentative) Tuesday, June 18, 2024: City Council study session  
    • (Tentative) Friday, June 21, 2024: City Council special meeting 
    • (Tentative) Tuesday, June 25, 2024: City Council study session or Committee of the Whole
    • (Tentative) Tuesday, July 2, 2024: City Council study session or Committee of the Whole; and 
      Public Hearing during the City Council meeting  
    • (Tentative) Tuesday, July 9, 2024: City Council study session or Committee of the Whole
    • (Tentative) Tuesday, July 16, 2024: City Council study session or Committee of the Whole 
    • (Tentative) Tuesday, July 23, 2024: City Council meeting - resolution transmitting ballot items to the Pierce County Auditor
    • (Tentative) Tuesday, July 30, 2024: Government Performance & Finance Committee special meeting - review "For" and "Against" Committee letters of interest; and 
      City Council meeting - appoint "For" and "Against" Committees

 

2024 Charter Review Committee History

 

The 2024 Charter Review Committee was appointed by the City Council in December 2023, and was active from January 2024 to May 7, 2024. Below are links to CRC meeting materials and final report.

 

Charter Review Commitee Overview (click to expand)

 

flyer imageDownload the Overview Handout

 

 

About the City Charter

 

In many communities, there exists a fundamental document that serves as the City’s charter and backbone of local governance. Tacoma’s City Charter outlines the structure of municipal government and governance for our community.  

 

Our current Charter was adopted by Tacoma residents in 1953. The City Charter requires the City Council to review the City Charter at least once every ten years, by appointing citizens to a Charter Review Committee. The role of the Charter Review Committee is to perform a comprehensive review of the City Charter and recommend amendments to the City Council. The City Council will then determine which recommended amendments to forward to the voters. 

 

This is where dedicated individuals reflecting Tacoma’s diverse community are needed to step in and volunteer their time, knowledge, ideas, and experiences and serve on the Charter Review Committee.   

 

 

Why Volunteer for the 2024 Charter Review Committee

 
Volunteering for the 2024 Charter Review Committee allows individuals a chance to join a diverse group of 15 residents, appointed by the City Council, to participate in a traditionally once-a-decade process to study the existing City Charter.
 
The Committee will have responsibility for conducting a deliberate, thoughtful, and inclusive review of the City Charter and recommending amendments to the Charter for consideration by the City Council. By dedicating your time and ideas, you can get a firsthand look at the constitution that guides your City and take part in the process of updating the City’s charter. 
 

Expectations of Charter Review Committee Members

 
Each Charter Review is unique: the appointed Committee members decide how many meetings to have, what topics to focus on, how to gather feedback, and whether they need subcommittees to complete the work. Based on past reviews, volunteering for the Charter Review Committee is no small act of service.

 

During the 2014 Charter Review, Committee Members met for four months from January through April. The main Charter Review Committee met twice per week, usually in the evenings, and each member sat on at least two subcommittees. Based on these meetings alone (not including any town halls or special meetings) committee members may be expected to volunteer four to eight hours per week. In addition to meetings, they should be prepared to set aside time to review topics, draft reports, and prepare final recommendations; and, if the committee chooses to do so, meet with residents and community groups.

 

 

Updates and Additional Resources

 

History of past Charter Reviews:

 

  2014 2004 1992
Number of Members 15 15 13
Number of Meetings  62 55 12
Number of Meeting Hours 93 57 41
Amendments forwarded
to the Ballot
12
(10 passed)
11
(11 passed)

15

(4 passed)


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Contacts:

City Clerk's Office

(253) 591-5505
email 




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