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Tag: Joe Lonergan


Tacoma: Diaz announces bid to unseat Lonergan in Tacoma’s 5th District

Yet another candidate has announced a bid to unseat incumbent Joe Lonergan in Tacoma’s Fifth Council District.

Olgy Diaz, an aide to Democratic state Rep. David Sawyer, announced today in a press release she will challenge Lonergan for the city seat representing south Tacoma.

“Government can only be as good as those we elect to serve,” Diaz is quoted as saying in the release. “I want to join the council to make sure they look out for us in the fifth district the way our neighbors look out for each other.”

Diaz, who is also volunteers on

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Tacoma: Van Dyk challenges Lonergan for 5th District city council seat

A second candidate has emerged to challenge an incumbent in this year’s Tacoma City Council races.

Justin Van Dyk officially filed his candidate’s registration with the state on April 5, declaring his intent to run for the council’s District 5 seat representing south Tacoma now held by Joe Lonergan.  

Shortly after Van Dyk registered, Lonergan himself filed his own candidacy paperwork and today officially announced in a press release that he’s seeking re-election.

In a phone interview today, Van Dyk, 25, said he is

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Tacoma City Council cracks down on billboards, ditching legal settlement with Clear Channel

Tacoma’s City Council called today for quick removal of at least 190 billboards, and possibly dozens more, reigniting a legal fight with sign owner Clear Channel Outdoor.

The council voted 7-1, with Joe Lonergan opposed and Spiro Manthou absent, to tighten zoning restrictions for billboards, set a new deadline for removal of those that don’t comply, and ban the modern versions that switch messages electronically.

By keeping digital billboards out of Tacoma, the council backs out of a legal settlement with Clear Channel that it had approved unanimously last year.

The agreement called for allowing Clear Channel to put up digital boards in exchange for tearing down traditional signs that don’t conform to the law. Though that part of the deal will now be defunct, the agreement also calls on the city to pay Clear Channel the market value of billboards the company is forced to remove outside the agreement. That could be ammunition for a court challenge.

“This has the potential to cost the taxpayers millions of dollars,” Michael Mayes, Clear Channel Outdoor’s Seattle real estate director, told the council tonight. “It opens the city up to additional legal exposure and significant financial risk.”

Councilmen David Boe and Marty Campbell proposed the law, which doubles the required space between billboards and places like residential districts, parks, churches, schools and historic districts.

City planners say they haven’t determined how many more signs will become “nonconforming” under the proposed rules. Staff had determined roughly 193 of the city’s 253 billboard faces didn’t conform to the old rules.

All nonconforming signs would have to be removed within six months. Permits that allow companies to replace a demolished billboard in a new spot would expire after a year. Clear Channel holds 169 of those relocation permits. Read more »


Tacoma City Council sets moratorium on marijuana dispensaries, collective gardens

Sellers of medical marijuana aren’t legal in Tacoma, city lawyers contend.

Today the City Council temporarily banned them anyway.

Mayor Marilyn Strickland said the six-month moratorium she proposed and the council unanimously approved is merely a prelude to future regulation that she hopes will license legitimate sellers and allow them to operate.

The moratorium bans dispensaries as well as the so-called collective gardens that were legalized by the Legislature this year. The gardens are forbidden whether or not they are connected to a business.

The ban probably won’t have much effect on the dozens of existing storefront medical-marijuana providers in Tacoma. That’s because the city is already going through the legal process of trying to shut them down — while allowing them to remain open as their appeals proceed and the council thinks about how to regulate them.

Those that might have to worry are new operations that are not already embroiled in legal appeals with the city, or people who are thinking about opening such a business.

“If you do, we’re going to shut you down,” Strickland said.

But while a shutdown might start with sending a letter, it’s not clear what happens after that. Would police raid the place? City Manager Rey Arellano said he and his staff hasn’t yet decided on an enforcement strategy.

The moratorium leaves it to Arellano to enforce the law — “in a manner that will continue to preserve legal access to medical cannabis for qualifying patients.”

That means in effect that the city won’t take any new enforcement action against existing businesses, city staff and council members said. Read more »