Political Buzz

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Tag: Pierce County

June
6th

First day of filing sees 76 candidates in Pierce County – most unopposed

The first day of election filing week brought out 76 candidates for town, city, school board and special district offices in Pierce County. Most of the office-seekers are unopposed at this point – and a majority of the nearly 200 offices up for election have no candidates so far.

Among contested races so far is a seat on the Tacoma School Board being vacated by Jim Dugan. Both Scott Heinze and Betsy Elgar have filed for that position.

Candidates have until Friday to file. For more information, see the Pierce County Election website.

Below is a list of candidate filings as of 5 p.m.

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Aug.
9th

Washam says ‘presumption of correctness’ shouldn’t apply in Pierce County

A key hurdle property owners must overcome to win an assessment appeal got a seeming boost today from Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam.

In a letter posted on the assessor’s website, Washam said he thinks previous errors in the tax rolls have invalidated the “presumption of correctness” that lies with the county in tax appeal cases.

It’s unclear what effect this might have on cases before the Board of Equalization, and The News Tribune is working to get answers to questions about it.

Washam’s letter is the latest missive in his long campaign to bring the county’s assessments in

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July
7th

Midland group holds County Council forum

The Midland Residents Association is sponsoring a Pierce County Council candidates forum for District 5 on Friday at 7 p.m. at the South East Tacoma Community Building, 1614 99th St E, Midland. Three candidates – Rick Talbert, Audrey Chase and Erich Sachs – are vying to replace Barbara Gelman, who is term-limited. The district includes Midland, Parkland and parts of Spanaway and portions of South, South End and East Side Tacoma

June
1st

‘New’ reporter on Pierce County beat

This week we welcome a new member – albeit one with a familiar byline – to the Political Buzz line-up. Veteran reporter Kris Sherman is joining us to cover Pierce County government.

It will be great to have her skills and perspective on one of our most important beats. In 30-some years at The News Tribune, Kris has covered every type of story in every corner of South Sound. She goes after government documents and story tips like a news-seeking missile. At the same time, she has a great touch with human and community stories that comes from living here

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April
26th

Mail it in: Don’t forget Tuesday’s election

Voters in several Pierce County communities, including Tacoma’s Metropolitan Parks District, will decide on measures in the April 27th all-mail election.

Items on the ballot:

Metro Parks Tacoma: A levy rate increase for parks and recreation maintenance and operations.

City of Buckley: Bond issue for construction of a new fire station.

City of Edgewood: Imposition of a 3.5 percent tax on utility providers.

City of Orting/Fire District No. 18: Annexation of the city into Orting Valley Fire and Rescue and expansion of the fire district board from three to five members.

Ballots must be postmarked or turned in

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Feb.
9th

Auditor puts up election results quickly, praises her office almost as quickly

She’s just a few months into her tenure, but Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson for the most part has made good on her 2009 campaign promise not to personalize the auditor’s office with her name and face.

That didn’t stop her from quickly praising her office after the county posted its first batch of election results Tuesday night. The posting came about 45 minutes earlier than the first release last November (when there was quite a lot more on the ballot, by the way).

Anderson said in her statement:

I asked the Elections team to think outside the box and

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Jan.
19th

Hotel, IMAX for Chambers Bay? Pierce County negotiating with developer

Pierce County is negotiating with a California developer to build a clubhouse, hotel, retail center and other facilities at Chambers Bay Golf Course.

Details are sketchy, and the developer – Ventur-Hospitality of San Bruno, Calif. – must still find financing for the project.

But if the deal comes together Chambers Bay would get the clubhouse and other facilities by 2014 – a year before tens of thousands of visitors are expected for the U.S. Open.

Among the facilities that would be built:

• A permanent clubhouse for the University Place golf course, which has been using a temporary facility since

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Nov.
24th

Pierce council overrides two vetos, chides executive and judges

The Pierce County Council Tuesday voted unanimously to override two vetoes issued by County Executive Pat McCarthy in an ongoing battle over the balance of power among the various branches of county government.

The council voted to override McCarthy’s veto of an ordinance that eliminated the Superior Court seat recently vacated by Judge Michael Hecht. The effect is to reduce the number of Superior Court seats from 22 to 21, despite objections from McCarthy, judges, the prosecuting attorney’s office and the local bar association, all of whom claim the council has overstepped its authority.

“I haven’t seen such a blatantly illegal act in my 25 years in practice,” Judge James Orlando told the council Tuesday.

Council members responded by asserting their authority over the budget and defending the legality of their decision. They also criticized the judges for stonewalling efforts to assess the court’s workload. And they questioned the work ethic of some on the bench.

“There are some judges who are better at their golf game than they are at being a judge,” said Councilman Tim Farrell, D-Tacoma.

The council also voted to override the executive’s veto of an ordinance changing the county’s comprehensive land-use plan. They accused McCarthy of holding up dozens of legitimate zoning and policy changes because of concerns they say she failed to express before the council approved them.

“With all due respect, Executive McCarthy, what were you thinking?” said Councilwoman Barbara Gelman, D-Tacoma.

Tuesday’s votes and harsh words were the latest evidence of tensions among county officials that have been simmering all year.

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