Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: tacoma public utilities


TACOMA: Click’s bleed doesn’t seem too bad

Re: “How to stanch Click’s bleed? 3 stark choices” (TNT, 6-28).

I think the headline is misleading. According to the article, Click is losing $3.8 million per year. In previous articles it was $9.5 million, then $7.5 million and now $3.8 million. It’s apparent that Tacoma Public Utilities’ accounting is still unsettled, but I’ll stipulate that the annual loss is $3.8 million.

With 170,000 ratepayers, the “bleed” is trivial – $1.86 per month per ratepayer. If the survey had asked, “Is $1.86 per month too much of a burden to keep Click?” the survey might have yielded a different answer.


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TACOMA: Click ‘losses’ aren’t as portrayed

Re: “Local company ups the ante on Click lease proposal” (editorial, 4-30).

It’s a common misconception that Tacoma’s Click network is a perennial loser. This is simply not the case. All these “losses” are due to amortization of “sunk costs” from building the entire telecommunications network, costs that rightfully should be charged off since they are left over from  Tacoma Public Utilities’ failed smart meter program.

Click’s revenues are actually growing, and it is genuinely cash-flow positive. In 2014 Click’s revenues rose 3 percent to a record $27 million. Operating profits were $3,722,723.

It’s only the depreciation and amortization expense of $5,128,915 that creates the small

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TACOMA: Keep Click and upgrade service

I am a software engineer who relies on reliable internet for my work. Having recently moved back to Tacoma from Bellevue, I was really looking forward to returning to the Click network. But now Tacoma Public Utilities is considering leasing that unique asset right from under us.

Wave Broadband obviously wants to capture the long-term value of the fiber-optic system that was bought and paid for by the people of Tacoma.  And why shouldn’t they?  As Amazon and the tech sector continue to grow and as prices climb in King County, Tacoma’s investment in Click creates fertile ground for tech startups and branch

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TACOMA: Maybe TPU is Click’s problem

Re: “Future of Click worthy of wider, more civil discussion” (Matt Driscoll column, 4-12).

In 1997, Tacoma created the Click network, a public service offering both Internet and cable, because we were tired of inferior service from a for-profit cable company. It was a good idea then, and it’s a good idea now.

Having laid miles of fiber-optic cable, our investment has paid off, and many Comcast customers desperately wish they get could get Click. So why is current Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) management trying to privatize our Click network?

For one, it is easier to manage electric and water delivery that

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TACOMA: Keep Click for the public good

We, the residents of Tacoma, have an opportunity for a new direction with our own Click network: Let’s provide free basic cable Internet service to all Tacoma Public Utilities customers.

We already have the infrastructure, so what’s stopping us?  We can be the most connected city, the City of Destiny.

Let’s return to free TV. Why are Click customers unnecessarily paying retransmission fees to broadcasters like KING, KIRO and KOMO?

Click can install locally produced antennas for customers at no charge if the broadcasters refuse to participate in a new free cable system. Or we can remove broadcasters from our basic package

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TACOMA: High-paid TPU managers need better oversight

Looking on the Tacoma Public Utilities website, “accountability” is one of its core values. So why then, are some TPU managers and corporate lobbyists so opposed to more transparency and subverting Tacoma Charter Amendment 6?

While watching city budget discussions, I was surprised to learn that TPU has nearly twice as many managers making six figures compared to other city departments. Our utility rates keep going up while the only people who seem to benefit are those at the top making $320,000 plus car allowances with huge contributions to their pensions.

Our elected officials should have the opportunity to weigh

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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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