Council Schedule Highlights Week of September 17th, 2018

Monday, SEPTEMBER 17th, 2018

1:30pm Community Development Committee

Rick Talbert, Chair
Dan Roach, Vice Chair
Douglas G. Richardson
Derek Young
Jim McCune

Regularly scheduled meetings are broadcast live and replayed on channel 22 (Comcast and Click! Network) and on channel 20 (Rainier Connect). Meeting materials and video can be accessed at www.piercecountywa.org/councilcommittees.

Proposal №2018–57, Shoreline Master Program An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Relating to the Pierce County Shoreline Master Program (SMP); Amending Exhibit G and Section 11 to Ordinance №2013- 45s4, as Required by the Washington State Department of Ecology; Conducting the Required Periodic Review and Update of the Pierce County SMP Pursuant to Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 90.58.080(4) of the Shoreline Management Act; Adopting Findings of Fact; and Setting an Effective Date.

Sponsored by: Councilmembers Rick Talbert and Derek Young

It’s been a long road but we’re finally ready for final passage of Pierce County’s Shoreline Master Program update. You probably recall that after several years of delays, we finally passed it 3 years ago. But the State’s Shoreline Management Act gives dual authority between local jurisdictions and the State Department of Ecology, effectively giving the letter a veto over our local decisions. We’ve been negotiating with Ecology ever since.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/37276114@N02/3433038388

The result is that Ecology is ordering us to make changes that I’m not thrilled about. Most of them regarding aquaculture; more specifically geoduck farms.

The strange thing about this issue is that’s it’s the only time I’ve ever seen Ecology openly advocate for industry interests. It’s also the only time I’ve ever seen industry insist that they should be able to operate anywhere they want without some restriction. Most businesses accept that there are appropriate and inappropriate areas to operate in.

I’m concerned by the cumulative impact of the farming practice on Puget Sound. From the introduction of plastics to anti-predator measures, I don’t think we know enough to guarantee this won’t hurt an already struggling Puget Sound. To say nothing of the impact on upland property owners.

Further frustrating is that there’s basically zero benefit to the public. These tidelands pay pennies in property tax despite generating a small fortune in foreign sales.

However, we are operating on regulations that predate my birth which is to say there’s been a lot of science since that time. We need this update and its time to get it done. I will be working with our legislators to draft a bill allowing for more local control.

Tuesday, SEPTEMBER 18th, 2018

9:30am Select Committee on Human Services

Connie Ladenburg, Chair
Rick Talbert, Vice Chair
Douglas G. Richardson

Regularly scheduled meetings are broadcast live and replayed on channel 22 (Comcast and Click! Network) and on channel 20 (Rainier Connect). Meeting materials and video can be accessed at www.piercecountywa.org/councilcommittees.

The committee with receive its regular update on a number of behavioral health pilot programs that began last year. Mobile Community Intervention Response Team (MCIRT), Mobile Outreach Crisis Team (MOCT), and Orting Recovery Café.

3:00pm Council Meeting

This meeting will be broadcast live and replayed on channel 22 (Comcast and Click! Network) and on channel 20 (Rainier Connect) Electronic meeting material can be accessed at http://www.piercecountywa.org/councilcommittees. Video archives are available at www.piercecountytv.org

Presentation of the Executive’s 2019 Pierce County Budget — Executive Bruce Dammeier

Each year, the Executive presents a proposed budget to the Council in accordance with our County Charter. That kicks off the beginning of our own process which starts with a budget retreat to pore over the recommendations and develop our own. That’s by Committee of the Whole hearings where Council has its opportunity to question department staff and work on the budget bill itself.

Here’s the calendar as its currently stands. If you’d like to follow along and comment, I highly recommend taking advantage of our new Open Budget tool.

Proposal №2018–58, Speed Zones — Schools and Construction Areas An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Granting the County Engineer Authority to Establish and Implement School Speed Zones and Temporary Construction Speed Zones by Amending Section 10.40.040 of the Pierce County Code, “School Zones,” and Adopting a New Section 10.40.060 of the Pierce County Code, “Temporary Decreases During Construction.”

Sponsored by: Councilmembers Derek Young and Pam Roach

A few weeks ago, after passing a long overdue speed limit code update, I was surprised to find that the current county code required the Council to approve basic safety measures like school and construction speed zones. While more discretionary changes in limits should be subject to legislative control, this seems like a common sense delegation of authority to the County Road Engineer.

The update also requires the schools to install flashing signs to indicate when children are present.

Proposal №2018–63s, 2018 Budget Supplemental/Capital Facilities Plan Amendment An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Amending Ordinance №2017–73s3, as Amended by Ordinance Nos. 2018–11s and 2018–56; Modifying the 2018 Pierce County Budget for a Capital Project; and Amending the Pierce County Capital Facilities Plan Adopted Pursuant to Ordinance №2017–64s, as Codified in Chapter 19E.20 of the Pierce County Code.

Sponsored by: Councilmember Douglas G. Richardson

This bill authorizes the purchase of the TAPCO building directly across Tacoma Ave from the County-City Building.

The County currently owns most of the block across the street, a leftover from a previous effort to develop a downtown campus for County administration.

The theory is that consolidating ownership of the block would make it more marketable. While I can somewhat appreciate the logic behind that theory, I think if there were demand the market would take care of that on its own. I’m very wary of government playing developer, even if it’s just assembling property. Generally speaking it doesn’t go well.

Further, I’ve heard an alternate explanation for staff that the site would serve a relocated Law Library, freeing up space on the first floor of the County-City Building. That would seem to contradict the stated goal of offloading surplus property, which is a drum I’ve been banging pretty hard, and add additional deferred maintenance to an already long list of rundown properties in the County portfolio.

Whatever happens this fall I intend to leave the County in a better fiscal position than the poor condition than I found it in, and that means liquidating surplus real estate and putting the proceeds back to work for our residents.

An additional oddity, I cannot for the life of me figure out why this is all happening in public before a contract is negotiated. In almost 20 years in local government I’ve never seen pierce of real estate acquired this way and it would seem to harm our negotiating position.

Proposal No. R2018–102, Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account A Resolution of the Pierce County Council Establishing a Stakeholder Group to Recommend a Strategic Plan for the Expenditure of Funds Related to the Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account. (Continued from the September 4, 2018 Council Meeting)

Sponsored by: Councilmembers Connie Ladenburg and Derek Young

When the Legislature decided it would prefer that sales tax collected on transportation projects be redirected back to the Transportation Fund, they faced a dilemma with the billions in Sound Transit construction. Rather than put those locally voted and funded dollars into a state account, they decided to keep those dollars local by redirecting the money to the three respective counties in the district with the purpose of improving educational outcomes.

In King County, they already have a number of programs that could leverage the funds, but in Pierce County we haven’t been active in this space short of managing ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program).

This bill would create a stakeholder work group to come up with a strategy to make sure we put those dollars to the best use. While it will amount to substantial funding, it’s also limited in duration, so it’s critical that we treat them as a one-time boost.

The bill was rescheduled for final from last week to give time for amendments by other members to be drafted.

Proposal No. R2018–108s, Initiation of Comprehensive Plan Amendments A Resolution of the Pierce County Council Initiating Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan for Pierce County for the 2019 Plan Amendment Cycle; Confirming the Initiation of Amendments by the County Executive, Cities and Towns; and Requesting the Planning and Land Services Department to Conduct an Environmental Review and Evaluation of the Initiated Amendments and Forward the Associated Reports to the Planning Commission and Affected Land Use Advisory Commissions for Review and Recommendation Back to the County Council.

Sponsored by: Councilmembers Rick Talbert and Derek Young

Every two years the Council approves initiation of comprehensive plan amendments. One thing I should be clear about. This is the beginning of the process. They’ll go through review by staff, the Planning Commission, and depending the issue, local Land Use Advisory Commissions, Pierce County Regional Council, the Trilateral Commission. Kidding on that last one (or am I? 🤔)

My point being is a lot of folks will spend time making recommendation so I’m typically going to support amendments moving forward, even if I’m likely to vote against it in the end. If they meet our basic criteria and aren’t plainly against the law, I’ll support moving them along.

A big one for Gig Harbor is the proposal to remove East Gig Harbor from the Urban Growth Area. Read more about it here.

Another that I proposed would add public schools as a “capital facility” and require school facilities be provided concurrent with residential development. We already have similar rules for roads as an example. If there’s no capacity in schools to accommodate new growth, we’d need to deny new development applications.

My Weekly Calendar

Last year we got a request for my forward looking calendar. Rather than have staff waste their time on public record requests, I decided to publish screenshots. If you have questions, feel free to call. Keep in mind, my schedule isn’t static. Things will get added, deleted, changed, etc. There are conflicts that I have to pick between. But if people want to see where I’m at and who I meet with, that’s fine by me.

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Pierce County Councilmember. Serving Gig Harbor, Fox Island, Key Peninsula, Ruston, and parts of North and West Tacoma.

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Derek Young

Derek Young

Pierce County Councilmember. Serving Gig Harbor, Fox Island, Key Peninsula, Ruston, and parts of North and West Tacoma.

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