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Pierce County Council to talk about 2011 fee hikes Friday

Post by Kris Sherman / The News Tribune on Nov. 4, 2010 at 6:45 pm with 15 Comments »
November 4, 2010 6:46 pm

Fees for a wide range of services from sewer service to ballfield use are scheduled to go up in Pierce County next year.

The Pierce County Council is set to consider a range of ordinances on fee increases and other issues Friday as it heads toward a planned Tuesday adoption of the 2011 budget.

The meeting, which is a public hearing, begins at 9 a.m. Friday in the 10th-floor council chambers at the County-City Building, 930 Tacoma Avenue South.

You can view the proposals here.

Final hearing on the proposals and adoption of the budget is set for 3 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers.

Here’s a news release on the issue.

Nov. 4, 2010

First council budget action is Nov. 5

Pierce County Councilmembers’ first opportunity to act on proposals related to the 2011 county budget is tomorrow, Nov. 5, during a public hearing beginning at 9 a.m.
The 11 ordinances and one resolution are needed to implement the final 2011 budget, which the council is scheduled to adopt on Tuesday, Nov. 9.

Public testimony is welcome on any of the proposals acted upon during the hearing.
Those who cannot attend in the Council Chambers of the County-City Building (930 Tacoma Ave. S., Room 1045) in Tacoma can watch the hearing live on Pierce County TV channel 22 or stream it live at www.piercecountytv.org. For complete budget information including the hearings schedule, visit www.piercecountywa.gov/council.

Leave a comment Comments → 15
  1. hortonpeak says:

    Hey, if the feds need 60 votes in the senate to do anything and the state know needs a two-thirds vote, I want the counties to need a – oh let us say – a three fourths approval to do anything. As for the cities, I would think an 85% approval would be appropriate.

  2. Or we could just follow the Constitution.

  3. gonefishin69690 says:

    No derekyoung, that would be “Un-American”

  4. I really think that the council members need to see about another way to get more money instead of raising fees the way the economy is now.
    ! there are many ways to do this and it is like running a Business were you can not go to the tax payers pocket.

  5. SEWER??? Who would have guessed that the ghost of Ladenburg links would finally arrive???

  6. Birds, fees are exactly how to run government like a business. Their purpose is to charge the customer of the service instead of putting it on the back of taxpayers. When costs go up, the fees rise with them. Some governments target fees to be closer to actual cost than others, but few every collect 100% so taxpayers generally pick up the rest of the tab.

    At least with fees you have an option. Don’t want to pay? Don’t buy the service.

  7. Devinc253 says:

    derekyoung.. your an idiot.
    Some services what choice do people have really..
    Man that was the dumbest thing I’ve heard today.
    It actually made me smile

  8. Stunning analysis Devinc253. Thank you for your thoughtful contribution. We are all better for it.

  9. hortonpeak says:

    To dereckyoung. WTF do you mean by “follow the constitution”? Do you mean the constitution or the county charter? Or do you mean state constitution or national constitution?

  10. EatonvilleTaxPayer says:

    Be sure to click on the link in the article for the proposals and see what they are doing. If the budget is so tight, then why are employees (or some anyhow) receiving wage increases??

    Sponsored by: Councilmember Roger Bush
    Requested by: Executive/Human Resources

    ORDINANCE NO. 2010-82

    An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Authorizing Wage Adjustments for Non-Represented Employees; Amending the Pierce County Salary Classification Plan; and Setting an Effective Date.

    Whereas, in Pierce County government there are many employees who are not represented by labor organizations, but for whom the proper administrative or elected officials have made and are making salary recommendation for cost-of-living increases to be effective January 1, 2011; and

    Whereas, it is the intent of the County to treat all employees fairly and equitably; and

    Whereas, it is necessary to amend the Salary Classification Plan to effect the recommended pay increases; Now Therefore,

    BE IT ORDAINED by the Council of Pierce County:

    Section 1. Effective January 1, 2011, the Salary Classification Plan is amended to reflect a 2.5 percent general wage increase for non-represented, non-elected employees (pay grids 0C, 0E, 0G, 0K, 0L, 0N, 0R, 0Y and 0Z). Employees shown in the Salary Classification Plan as “Y” rated prior to January 1, 2006, shall receive one-half of the pay increase granted herein, but in any event shall not be paid below the maximum rate for their particular classification. However, those employees “Y” rated in pay grids 0Y and 0Z and those employees “Y” rated on or after January 1, 2006, shall not receive any cost-of-living adjustment as granted herein, but in any event shall not be paid below the maximum rate for their particular classification. At such time as the top step of the employee’s classification meets or exceeds their “Y” rate, the employee shall be placed at the appropriate step of his or her regular classification and shall again be eligible for cost-of-living adjustments.

    Section 2. This Ordinance shall become effective on January 1, 2011.

  11. EatonvilleTaxPayer says:

    DerekYoung: Are you suggesting that “customers” not buy sewer or water services? When building a house, those services are required to be hooked up and operational in order to get the permit signed off and occupy the home.

    As someone else said, sometimes there is no choice in the matter. Let me know when you start paying for sewer, water, etc….(You are too young to realize that what you are saying isn’t entirely correct.)

    Though it’s great to see a young lad take interest in such matters. Kudos for that!

  12. hortonspeak: I was referring to both the state and federal constitutions which establish the majority to be 50%… not 2/3 or whatever other standard is dreamed up.

    ETP: I’m not exactly young and I’ve been in local government for 13 years now so I’m well aware of what I’m talking about. There are some services you can’t avoid… utilities being one of them, though they’re not always provided by government. In fact it’s quite common for people to build their own systems. But there are many more user fees which are directly tied to an optional service… building and development being a good example. Why should the general taxpayers have to foot the bill for the costs associated with development? It makes more sense to charge that to the user… thus the fees. Why is it wrong to charge the local softball team for their use of the field? Why not charge new homes for the infrastructure needed to serve them? Why shouldn’t people pay for their new sewer connection?

    I’ll put it another way. There are two ways to pay for government. Everyone can chip in to fund it through taxes, or you can charge it to the user. Want less of the former, you get more of the latter and vice versa.

  13. JeffTacoma says:

    TheMASO: get the facts, the Sewer Dept is building a huge new addition to their plant, so the Council just passed a huge Bond to pay for it and rates go up. Nothing to do with the Golf Course at all. Oh, and by the way, Pierce County has the lowest Sewer rates in all the large counties, and about half of what Tacoma charges. Don’t let the facts interupt your hate.

  14. EatonvilleTaxPayer says:

    DerekYoung: I think I’ve mistaken you for someone else…my apologies.

    Most development, sewer/water connect fees, etc. are already charged to the builder or land owner. We paid them when we built a house and paid to install all our own utilities.

    When we built in 2004 Pierce County had no sewer inspection fees the first time I went into their office. When I went back to get the actual permit a couple months later, there was a new sign for a 20 or 30 buck fee (can’t recall exactly). I asked about it and they said it was a ONE TIME FEE for new sewer systems. HA HA HA

    The next year we got a letter stating our sewer system would have to be inspected EVERY year. We now pay a “certified” company to check out our septic system (around 150.00) every year, and then pay the Pierce County Health Dept. another fee (40 I think) just to turn the inspection paper into them for their records.

    Now, this year I get a letter stating the is $50.00, which is to be paid directly to the company inspecting our sewer system (in addition to their 150 + fee). The inspection company is the one who will be inspecting and reporting the information directly into an online database.

    So, what is the 50.00 fee to the Health Dept. for. They aren’t even entering the data any longer.

    WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ONE TIME FEE I was told about when we installed the septic system. Typical government. Get their foot in the door and they will continually be dipping into your wallet for more.

  15. Don,t you love the phrase, FEES, instead of the proper word, TAXES?

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