Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: bill baarsma


TACOMA: Time city became a democracy

Re: “Charter committee skeptical of public views” (TNT, 4-12).

I was at the Charter Review Committee meeting to testify in favor of a mayor/council form of government. It is time Tacoma became a democracy rather than ruled by bureaucrats. But because of “grandchildren duties” I could not stay. But I wonder if the News Tribune reporter and I were at the same meeting.

Both committee chairman Bill Baarsma and member Ken Miller gave outstanding breakdowns on the state of our current city government. Based on the facts presented at the meeting and in other forums it is difficult to

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TACOMA: Resist putting utilities under council control

John Ladenburg (letter, 2-13) and Bill Baarsma (letter, 2-13) raised different criticisms of The News Tribune’s editorial, “Coming soon: Raid on Tacoma utilities” (2-11).

Ladenburg suggested that an autonomous utility is dangerous due to its history of expansionist policies and hiding issues from the Tacoma City Council.

During the energy crisis of 2000-2001, Tacoma Public Utilities needed to significantly raise rates to prevent insolvency. Under the city charter, rate increases proposed by the utility board need the approval of the City Council.

As a member of the City Council during that period, approving the 50 percent increase

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TACOMA: Charter review will be an open process

I was surprised and disappointed by the tone taken in the editorial concerning Tacoma’s mandated charter review process (TNT, 2-11). In point of fact, the Charter Review Committee has not yet taken formal testimony concerning the status of the city’s six utilities (the three under the independent board and the three within the general government).

Committee member Ken Miller and I met with Utilities Director Bill Gaines and his deputy, Bob Mack, at Gaines’ invitation and with the concurrence of the full committee. The four of us had a thoughtful two-hour conversation over the current and future state of

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